Bristow Group Gains FAA Approval for ADS-B Out Solution In Sikorsky S-76 Helicopters Using FreeFlight Systems GPS/WAAS Sensor
Supplemental Type Certificate for 1090 MHz Extended Squitter System Integrates FreeFlight Systems Model 1201 GPS/WAAS With Trig Avionics T22 Transponder
Waco, TX, March 5, 2013 -- FreeFlight Systems announced today that Bristow Group Inc., a leading provider of helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, has gained FAA approval of a rule-compliant 1090 MHz extended squitter (1090ES) ADS-B Out system for Sikorsky S-76C+ and S-76C++ helicopters. The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) includes a FreeFlight Systems 1201 GPS/WAAS sensor as the high-integrity position source integrated with a Mode S transponder.
The STC is part of Bristow U.S. LLC's ongoing installation of ADS-B avionics in advance of a Jan. 1, 2020 FAA deadline for all U.S. aircraft to be equipped with certified 1090ES or 978 MHz Universal Access Transmitter (UAT) ADS-B Out systems. Bristow and FreeFlight Systems earlier this year implemented an STC for a rule-compliant 978 MHz UAT solution, equipping Agusta-Westland AW139 helicopters operating in the Gulf of Mexico with the FreeFlight Systems RANGR FDL-978TX system.
The 12-passenger, twin turbine-engine Sikorsky S-76 is a mainstay of the Bristow fleet with more than 90 in operation worldwide. Bristow operates S-76, AW139 and other helicopters from seven facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, servicing 3,400 production platforms and approximately 100 drilling rigs. Equipping helicopters with ADS-B in the Gulf of Mexico can dramatically increase the efficiency of flights with more direct, point-to-point routing. By contrast, aircraft not equipped for ADS-B Out in IFR conditions must manually report their position within a vast airspace grid, often resulting in longer flights.
The FreeFlight 1201 GPS/WAAS Sensor provides position, velocity, and time data to the transponder and other compatible avionics. Small, lightweight and easily installed, the 1201 meets ADS-B position source requirements worldwide.
"Our work with Bristow's avionics experts on the AW139 and now the S-76 show how our ADS-B systems can be integrated readily with a variety of airframes and complex avionics packages," said Tim Taylor, CEO of FreeFlight Systems. "Helicopter operators in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere now can begin to equip their aircraft for ADS-B not only to comply with the FAA mandate but also to gain the multiple operational benefits of the technology and the NextGen airspace system."
"Developing ADS-B certifications with FreeFlight Systems is part of our unending commitment to our customers to provide the best in comfortable, reliable and efficient offshore air transport services," said James Taylor, Bristow's Avionics Manager overseeing the installation. "The design of the systems makes the engineering and installation work fairly straightforward and simplifies future certification work on other aircraft in our fleet."
About Bristow Group, Inc.
Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The Company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.bristowgroup.com.
About FreeFlight Systems
FreeFlight Systems designs and manufactures high-performance avionics for flight safety and for delivering the substantial safety, cost, environmental and other benefits from the NextGen airspace transformation. Founded in 2001 and based in Texas, the company pioneered the first certified aviation WAAS GPS receiver and the first rule-compliant UAT ADS-B system. FreeFlight Systems produces a range of high quality, American-made, competitively priced systems for installation in all aircraft types. For more information, please visit www.freeflightsystems.com