“With the new rescue helicopter, we will be able to extend our scope of operation and in future come to the aid of more people in distress than ever before,” says Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler. The AW169-FIPS is a medium-weight, twin-engine helicopter featuring a full ice protection system (FIPS). This will allow Rega to also fly missions in icing conditions. In addition, the AW169-FIPS is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and can perform high-precision instrument flights.
The acquisition of these new helicopters is of central importance for the implementation of Rega’s vision to carry out air rescue missions no matter what the weather. Accompanying projects, such as the establishment of IFR flight routes and a Rega-own network of weather stations, are also in progress. It has not yet been decided at which of Rega’s bases the new helicopters will be deployed as part of the plan to partially replace the present-day lowland fleet; various scenarios are currently being examined.
A tried-and-tested, innovative partner
With the AW109SP Da Vinci, Rega is already using AgustaWestland helicopters at all its mountain bases. “AgustaWestland is a reliable, innovative partner, and is now developing the first helicopter weighing less than five tonnes to be equipped with an anti-icing system, in accordance with our particular specifications,” explains Ernst Kohler. “In this respect, we are breaking new ground together.” Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland and Rega have a long history as partners: between 1991 and 1995, Rega purchased 15 Agusta A109K2 helicopters, and since 2009 has been operating 11 AgustaWestland AW109SP Da Vincis at its mountain bases.
Investment of CHF 50 million
The intensive evaluation period, which lasted over two years, resulted in a helicopter being specially designed in line with Rega’s requirements, based on the standard AW169. At its last meeting, the Rega Foundation Board followed the recommendation of the Management Board and authorised the purchase of the three helicopters. Rega is reckoning with acquisition costs totalling CHF 50 million for the three machines, including the necessary medical equipment. This sum has already been earmarked in Rega’s long-term financial planning, and its healthy financial position means that this project can be funded without outside capital.
Rega Media Service
Technical Data AgustaWestland AW169-FIPS
|Total length||14.65 m|
|Rotor diameter||12.12 m|
|Manufacturer||Pratt & Whitney|
|Takeoff power||2x 1,108 PS|
|Max. flying speed||ca. 250 km/h|