November 16, 2021 By Helicopters Staff
Bell Textron Canada back on September 15 delivered a new Bell 429 helicopter to the Canadian Coast Guard at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Quebec. The delivery, explains Bell, marks an important milestone for both Bell Textron Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard. For Bell, it represents the 400th Bell 429 helicopter delivered, and for the Coast Guard, the completion of its light helicopter renewal program launched in 2014.
“With this procurement, our Canadian Coast Guard’s light helicopter fleet is fully renewed,” said Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. “This is so important because a strong, well-equipped Coast Guard is one of the best ways to save lives on the water and protect our marine environment.”
In 2014, Bell and Bell Textron Canada were awarded contracts by the Government of Canada to deliver a fleet of 23 state-of-the-art helicopters to the Canadian Coast Guard. The value of the contract is more than $338 million dollars. The renewal partnership focused on the Coast Guard’s fleet of light and medium helicopters, comprised of seven Bell 412EPI and 16 Bell 429 helicopters.
Bell explains these helicopters provide support to ships engaged in critical maritime work, including aids to navigation, environmental response, icebreaking operations, and in support of search and rescue operations. Every year, the Canadian Coast Guard’s 16 Bell 429 helicopters fly more than 5,500 hours.
“Through our proven expertise and a well-established Canadian support network, Bell continues to serve citizens around the world,” Steeve Lavoie, president, Bell Textron Canada. “Our global workforce and Canadian industrial base celebrates together with the Canadian Coast Guard and Bell 429 operators across the globe. With this aircraft, CCG is now the largest Bell 429 operator.”
For 35 years, Bell Textron Canada has designed, developed, assembled, and delivered leading-edge commercial helicopters in Mirabel to provide vertical lift solutions for operators, businesses, and government agencies all over the world. Certified in 2009, Bell explains the 429 is the result of close collaboration with Government of Canada as well as provincial governments. Globally, the Bell 429 has thus far achieved 523,000 operating hours.
“Through the Canadian Coast Guard’s Fleet Renewal Plan, we’re ensuring our members have the best available equipment with which to do their jobs,” said Mario Pelletier, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard. “The Coast Guard’s fleet of Bell 412 and 429 helicopters and the pilots play an important role in ensuring that Coast Guard services are available to Canadians wherever they may be.”