New helicopters for pilot transfer
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New helicopters for pilot transfer

Transnet signs order for new helicopters

SOUTH AFRICA: Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) expects to take delivery of two new helicopters by June this year. The helicopters will be stationed in Richards Bay and Durban to undertake pilot transfers.

A deal to acquire the helicopters was confirmed this month with Italian company, Leonardo to provide two AgustaWestland helicopters with a value of R250 million.

TNPA’s Acting Chief Executive, Nozipho Mdawe says that the the two new helicopters would help TNPA to improve ship turnaround times and the overall reliability of its marine service at the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

“This in turn will have benefits for our customers, the shipping lines and the global competitiveness of our ports,” she said.

“These are presently the only ports in our complementary port system which use helicopters to transfer marine pilots onto and off visiting vessels. We are, however, looking to offer the service at our Port of Cape Town as well, to counter weather related disruptions there, where major swells impact on the availability of service during stormy conditions,” she said.

The contract for the new helicopters includes a 25 percent supplier development obligation by the global supplier to ensure that the contract creates socio-economic benefits within South Africa. These would include job creation, skills development and where possible use of local, empowered companies and local materials or parts.

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