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Leonardo has announced that the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is set to introduce a fifth AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter into its fleet. The aircraft is expected to be delivered from Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility in Spring 2019 and will be used to perform a range of missions primarily including fire suppression, emergency medical service (EMS) and search-and-rescue (SAR).
The Los Angeles Fire Department protects more than four million people in America’s second largest city. It is responsible for 400+ square-miles, 106 stations, and over 3,200 firefighters. LAFD Air Operations’ mission includes fire suppression, air ambulance transport, hoist rescues, reconnaissance and mapping. Their helicopter fleet is housed at Van Nuys Airport (KVNY).
The existing fleet of four LAFD-owned multirole AW139s have a combined 7,000+ flight hours since the first helicopter entered service in 2008, helping respond to over 700 incidents annually.
AW139s have proved their workhorse reliability and have demonstrated a crucial piece of equipment for suppressing wildfires throughout Southern California. Features customized for the LAFD AW139 include, among others, search light, rescue hoist, advanced water tank for fire suppression, wire-cutter and modular cabin interior.