Leonardo’s helicopter deal: A game-changer for Latin America’s aerial firefighting sector?

November 29, 2023

Strengthening firefighting capabilities in Latin America

Leonardo’s recent contract with Omni Helicopters International (OHI) for the purchase of AW189 and AW189K helicopters marks a significant development in Latin America’s firefighting capabilities.

These helicopters, known for their efficiency and high endurance, are set to significantly enhance the operational effectiveness in firefighting missions across the region.

The contract aligns with OHI’s focus on sustainability and reliability, crucial factors in the demanding environment of firefighting operations​​.

OHI’s commitment to advanced air mobility solutions

OHI, a leading air mobility solutions provider in Latin America, plays a pivotal role in the region’s firefighting efforts.

Their diversified portfolio includes essential services like Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Firefighting, and Search and Rescue operations.

The introduction of AW189 helicopters into their fleet represents OHI’s commitment to advancing air mobility solutions, especially in firefighting, where the need for reliable and efficient aircraft is paramount​​.

AW189 helicopters: Tailored for firefighting missions

The AW189 helicopters are uniquely equipped to meet the challenging demands of firefighting missions.

Their design prioritizes superior payload capacity, long-range operations, and lower operating costs, making them ideal for firefighting operations in diverse and challenging terrains.

The helicopters’ built-in Auxiliary Power Unit and the ability to run the main transmission without oil for 50 minutes are particularly beneficial for prolonged firefighting operations.

With more than 200 certified kits, the AW189 helicopters can be tailored to specific firefighting requirements, enhancing their role in combating fires and supporting emergency operations in Latin America​​.

FSJA Comment

Leonardo’s expansion in the Latin American helicopter market, specifically the AW189 and AW189K models, is a significant boost for the region’s firefighting sector.

These helicopters’ adaptability and advanced features align well with the unique requirements of firefighting missions, offering enhanced operational efficiency, safety, and reliability.

This move not only signifies a technological leap in firefighting resources but also illustrates a growing awareness of the importance of specialized equipment in combating wildfires and conducting rescue operations in the region.

The deal underscores the evolving nature of the firefighting sector in Latin America, reflecting a shift towards more sustainable, reliable, and effective firefighting solutions.

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