DAY 31

DAY 31


Airbus’ strong relationship with India stretches back through the decades

Airbus Helicopters has been a long-term investor in India, with significant partnerships stretching back to the 1960s. Through a relationship with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Airbus-designed helicopters have been manufactured in India for the past five decades, and these Indian-made aircraft are in service not only in India but around the world.

Today, Airbus is playing an active role in developing new market segments in India such as helicopter emergency medical services and search and rescue, stringing power transmission lines and opening up heli-tourism.

The AS350B3 helicopter in particular has been instrumental in opening up these new segments in the country, becoming the preferred choice for operators of numerous missions, including charter operations, heli-tourism, pilgrimage tours, heli-skiing, geophysical surveying and electronic news gathering.

In the process, Airbus Helicopters have helped to make history. In 2010, four AS350B3 helicopters were deployed in India’s Commonwealth Games for electronic news gathering, the first time that helicopters were used for the live coverage of an event of such large scale in India.

“Helicopters can save lives and change lives in India.” Such is the contention of Airbus India & South Asia’s President and Managing Director, Anand E Stanley.

One unusual example dates back to 2012, when the Indian Ministry of Water Resources commissioned a project to map aquifers, underground water sources, to provide a long-term solution to water shortages.

Like many countries in the world, India’s major water demands are fulfilled by groundwater. The project focused on finding clean drinking water with the help of aerial technology mounted on helicopters.

The Ecureuil AS350 B3, fitted with a 30-metre probe with an enormous, 300-square-metre frame, was selected for the mission given its capability to carry heavy payloads. The technology makes it possible to scan the Earth’s uppermost layers to a depth of 200-300 metres so that scientists can view subterranean groundwater landscapes as 3D images.

Six areas were identified for the pilot project including Nagpur, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Patna and Jaipur. These areas were selected on the basis of soil types and topography. The project was taken up jointly by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) and was funded by the World Bank.

“This initiative will immensely benefit the country and its people,” added Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, Chief Scientist at the NGRI who worked on the project, “because ground water is being rapidly depleted in many parts of the country.”

Airbus 50 Day 31 Asset Image1

Airbus will continue to create hundreds of high-tech jobs locally and to develop cutting edge technologies in India, taking the relationship with the subcontinent into the future.

Ashish Saraf, head of Airbus Helicopters in South Asia, says “Airbus is the market leader in civil helicopters in India. Airbus is the only original equipment maker which is able to offer helicopters embedding the highest levels of innovation and end-to-end solutions for the ease of operations of a cross section of customers.

“We expect the demand for civil and para-public helicopters in India to be between 50-75 helicopters in the next 3-5 years.”

“India’s terrain and vastness make it an ideal helicopter country. Helicopters can save lives and change lives in India – be it as air ambulances, air rescuers or for offshore activities.”

Anand E Stanley, President and Managing Director of Airbus India & South Asia.



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