Toronto, ON | Oct. 5, 2008
In a brief ceremony, Field Aviation took delivery from Bombardier Aerospace of a Dash 8 Q300 aircraft that is being modified to become a maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) for the Icelandic Coast Guard. Field Aviation purchased this aircraft as part of a contract worth in excess of $US30 million that was awarded to the company in May 2007. The contract specifications are very similar to those of the three Dash 8 Q300 MSAs that Field Aviation recently completed and delivered for the Swedish Coast Guard, and, in a fitting changeover, the aircraft for Iceland arrived at Field Aviation just as the last aircraft for Sweden was being prepared for its delivery flight.
The Field Aviation-modified MSA is scheduled for completion in July 2009, and will replace the Icelandic Coast Guard's aging Fokker F-27 maritime surveillance aircraft currently employed as the first-response vehicle on location.
To date, Field has sales or options for 29 MSAs worldwide using the popular Dash 8 Series aircraft. Seventeen have been delivered to date. The company believes there is a large and growing market for its technical capability and expertise in this highly specialized area. "Growing airborne surveillance requirements to protect our fisheries interests and to fight environmental pollution with a more suitable platform for the coming decades' aircraft have made this replacement a necessity", says Georg Larusson, director general of the Icelandic Coast Guard. "We are impressed by the work that Field Aviation performed with the Swedish Coast Guard airplanes, and this gave us confidence in trusting them to supply us with an MSA which would exceed our mission requirements."
"The Dash 8 has an excellent reputation for safety and durability in operating environments similar to what the Icelandic Coast Guard will experience," says Joar Gronlund, COO of Field Aviation. "The aircraft will be converted to the full Icelandic MSA configuration at our Toronto facility, which has a pre-eminent performance record on projects of similar complexity and size."
The basic Dash 8 Q300 aircraft platform is equipped with long-range fuel tanks (8+ hours endurance) and an auxiliary power unit. Field Aviation will outfit the aircraft with Maritime Search Radar, Side Looking Radar and an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red pod. All sensors will feed into an integrated data-handling system from L-3 Communications-Integrated Systems. Field's recently-STC'd air-operable rear door will allow crews to deploy location flares, paradrop personnel, oil-sampling buoys and larger items such as inflatable life rafts while on mission patrol.