HeliAir and Thales enter strategic partnership

State-of-the-art four-axis autopilots are a valuable support for pilots, especially during rescue flights. The autopilot supports flight-related tasks up to hovering, which relieves the pilots throughout complex missions.

Austrian air rescue operator OAMTC had an Airbus EC135 T2+ at HeliDays, and demonstrated its day-to-day services with the aircraft. Florian Szczepanek and Alexander Schwarz Photo
The companies plan to equip more of OAMTC Air Rescue’s EC135 helicopters with Thales’ AFCS autopilot. Florian Szczepanek and Alexander Schwarz Photo

“Six helicopters out of the Christophorus fleet are already equipped with an autopilot,” said Marco Trefanitz, managing director of OAMTC Air Rescue. Since this achievement is especially valuable for 24-hour operation and for difficult salvage in alpine terrain, further helicopters will be retrofitted with this technology.

Following successful negotiations, HeliAir, the technology division of OAMTC Air Rescue, has entered into a strategic partnership with Thales. “Our goal is to further develop the AFCS autopilot from Thales, to integrate it on the EC135 helicopter and to test it in real operation,” said Trefanitz. “Many years of experience as well as our know-how and expertise are essential building blocks to achieve this goal.”


Together, OAMTC Air Rescue and Thales want to work on solutions that support pilots in every decisive moment along the way.

“We know that OAMTC Air Rescue trusts in high technology solutions and is continuously working on further developing their air rescue system,” said Hannes Boyer, managing director of Thales in Austria. “We are looking forward to supporting their current and future ambitions with our expertise.”

The partnership between HeliAir and Thales offers potential for various other innovations; whether a fully digital helicopter cockpit for a more flexible and situative information display, a helmet mounted display for extended sight, or a dedicated tablet mounting for helicopters.

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