Airbus Helicopters (AHI) has delivered the first of 16 new H125 helicopters configured for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO). AMO collaborated with AHI as part of a long-term fleet upgrade initiative, and the resulting configuration has led to one of the most advanced, high-tech law enforcement helicopters ever developed. The first helicopter for the new configuration was tested and delivered from Airbus Helicopters’ facility in Grand Prairie, Texas. The remaining aircraft are being built in Columbus, Miss., where a workforce made up of 40 percent U.S. veterans also produces the UH-72A Lakota for the US Army and has delivered more than 450 single-engine H125 aircraft for the North American market.
Following a rigorous analysis of its mission needs and next generation aerospace technology, AMO developed a set of requirements for the new helicopters, which Airbus put in place through nearly 30 Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs). The series of STCs are tied together through a primary all-encompassing STC that ensures all of the systems interact properly with one another and with the basic aircraft. Airbus and AMO have a longstanding relationship of more than 30 years, during which Airbus has delivered more than 100 helicopters from the H120 and H125 family. This new acquisition was made possible through a partnership with Davenport Aviation, an SBA-certified woman-owned small business and HUBZone contractor specialising in the supply of aerospace equipment to federal, state and local government agencies.