Wednesday 13th May 2015 – International SAR 2015, Brighton, England
Airbox, the specialist navigation and mission system developer, has today confirmed that Bristow Helicopters Limited is to use Airbox ACANS (Aviation Command Aircraft Navigation System) to support its UK SAR operations and Gap SAR bases in Sumburgh and Stornoway. The company will provide its mission visualisation platform to all of Bristow Helicopter’s SAR aircraft and bases enabling efficient and safe flight and route planning and execution.
Bristow Helicopters began operation of the UK search and rescue helicopter service on behalf of HM Coastguard on 1 April 2015, at Humberside and Inverness, and will go-live at the remaining eight bases in a phased approach until July 2017. Gap SAR bases at Sumburgh and Stornoway have been live since summer 2013.
The software has been designed to improve a pilot’s knowledge of their environment whether at the planning, operational or debrief phase of a mission. Among the innovations available within the ACANS package are power line and obstacle avoidance, advanced fuel planning and calculations to display areas of operation.
William Moore, Airbox’ Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of the company explained, “We’re immensely proud to be providing Bristow with ACANS both in the Bristow’s ops rooms and in all the new UK SAR aircraft. The software has evolved over time from a pure flight-planning and execution app to a mission management system that allows complex planning, remote tasking and navigation for aircraft operating in, often hazardous environments. ”
Samantha Willenbacher, Director of UK Search and Rescue at Bristow Helicopters Ltd, said: “We looked at a number of products before choosing the Airbox ACANS system which provides enhanced situational awareness for our pilots. Its ability to alert our crews of available airspace and warn of overhead wires and other obstacles as well as assess potential landing sites on the move will help our crews save valuable time, effort and ultimately lives.”
Airbox ACANS’s range of situational awareness products are already used extensively by the Police, Emergency Services and the Military for both air and ground roles.