ERA Group, July 20, 2015 - HOUSTON, TX - Era Group Inc., a leading helicopter transport operator based in the United States, today announced participation in the U.S. Coast Guard's Arctic Technology Evaluation 2015 Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX 2015) on Alaska's North Slope.
SAREX 2015 was designed to identify the benefits to search and rescue (SAR) missions brought forth by federal and civil partnerships through the integration of both manned and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with the support of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office. This exercise demonstrated the combined capabilities and expertise of each participant in support of Arctic SAR efforts and other potential missions, such as ice floe monitoring, marine mammal tracking, and environmental protection.
The exercise simulated an offshore emergency requiring a technologically advanced response coordinated between the U.S. Coast Guard, Boeing-Insitu, Era, Priority One Air Rescue, a major exploration and production company and numerous government agencies. Era's AW139 SAR Pilots teamed with Priority One Air Rescue crews and successfully established interoperability between a variety of marine and aviation assets, both manned and unmanned, during the demonstrated recovery at the rescue scene.
"Era's role in the Arctic Technology Evaluation 2015 reflects a significant step toward expanding our partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and other parties to ensure that the necessary capabilities and services are in place to support increased activities in the Arctic region," said Chris Bradshaw, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Era Group.
"Incorporating the benefits of unmanned aerial systems with Era's established SAR program complements the U.S. Coast Guard and North Slope Borough response capabilities, providing a valuable service to Alaskan communities."
District 17 of the Coast Guard is responsible for more than 44,000 miles of coastline. The North Slope Borough consists of approximately 95,000 square miles and is larger than 39 U.S. States. The logistical challenges of maintaining a critical mass of aviation SAR assets in theatre create a potential opportunity to maximize civil, USCG, and North Slope Borough capabilities in support of a common mission.
About Era Group: Era Group is one of the largest helicopter operators in the world and the longest serving helicopter transport operator in the U.S. In addition to servicing its U.S. customers, Era Group also provides helicopters and related services to third-party helicopter operators and customers in other countries, including Brazil, India, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom. Era Group's helicopters are primarily used to transport personnel to, from and between offshore installations, drilling rigs and platforms.