Leonardo Helicopters is highlighting its vision for VIP helicopters and future air mobility with new brand Agusta, the spectacular Casa Agusta rotorcraft terminal in Dubai and the AW609 tiltrotor
Leonardo chose the grand opening of its new Dubai rotorcraft terminal at the beginning of Expo Dubai 2020 in October to announce the launch of an initiative to reinforce its leading position in the VIP/corporate helicopter market, as it pioneers new advanced and sustainable vertical flight air mobility solutions. Agusta is now a brand embodying the company’s distinctive design, technology, service philosophy and values in the executive rotorcraft sector. Operated by Leonardo and Falcon Aviation Services, the terminal is named Casa Agusta.
Leveraging the heritage of an iconic helicopter industry name and a symbol of commitment to stay at the forefront of innovation, Agusta is a unique combination of best-in-class performance, comfort and refined Italian style. Leonardo is committed to providing unmatched tailor-made solutions to today’s operators and those of the future.
VIP solutions offered under the Agusta brand include dedicated operational and customer services and information, aircraft interior and layout configurations, and bespoke options. Gian Piero Cutillo, Leonardo Helicopters MD, said: “Agusta is a strong brand our VIP operators can easily recognise and identify with, a brand that embodies their desire for excellence and quality combined with a personal touch and distinction. We want them to be themselves before take-off, during flight and upon arrival at their destination, setting them apart from others. The strength and recognition of the Agusta brand legacy lives on in this market segment.”
Since the arrival of the popular, iconic Agusta A109 50 years ago, operators have used ‘speed and elegance’ to define the helicopter and flight experience. The significant growth and evolution of the highly successful A109 and AW109 lines across all civil and public service applications means ‘Agusta’ has become synonymous with outstanding performance, refined aerodynamics, advanced technology and high levels of customisation.
Falcon Aviation Services will provide helicopter transport services from Casa Agusta, facilitating mobility to and from the Expo 2020 site. Meanwhile, an AW609 tiltrotor and a full-scale AW609 VIP/corporate cabin mock-up will be on static display adjacent to Casa Agusta for a limited period. This first appearance of the AW609 in the Middle East marks the global commercial launch of the revolutionary multirole aircraft as it nears civil certification.
Casa Agusta itself is based on a new concept combining a helipad, showroom and lounge areas in a single, city-based heliport. The terminal concept will support the development of a network of point-to-point connections for urban transfers and connections between cities, while meeting the growing demand for sustainable, modern vertical lift mobility and greater access to urban areas. VIP passengers and charter operators will enjoy levels of service typically only available in larger private airport facilities far from downtown and urban areas. The terminal’s modular design uses recyclable materials, making it environmentally friendly – and, if required, transportable.
The terminal experience provides a sense of Agusta before each take-off and on landing. A modern, modular, sustainable, refined rotorcraft terminal, Casa Agusta satisfies evolving trends in airborne mobility through an adaptable space, including areas designed for business or relaxation. The combination of dazzling infrastructure with the revolutionary AW609, which delivers rotorcraft versatility and turboprop-like performance, epitomises Leonardo’s vision of the not-so-distant future in air mobility.
Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said: “The aviation industry of the third millennium is rapidly evolving towards new forms of mobility, aiming for modernity, security and sustainability. Indeed, our aim is not just to build new bridges for the exchange of goods and services, but, most importantly, to foster the movement of people and new ideas, which are key to economic and cultural growth.
“Leonardo wants to be a driver of this transformation, leveraging the capabilities that distinguish us: high-end technologies, professionalism and a people-centric ethos. Casa Agusta and the AW609 strongly contribute to this mobility evolution.”
Leonardo Helicopters offers a large portfolio of rotorcraft, comprising more than ten models capable of dedicated VIP and transport missions, including charter, schedules, air taxi, sightseeing, private and VVIP/government. The VIP types among them include the AW109 light-twin series of Trekker and GrandNew helicopters, and the intermediate-class AW169; intermediate, best-in-class AW139; and medium-class AW189 family. In VIP configuration, the AW609 also falls into this intermediate class.
As well as optimised VIP and business flying, Leonardo’s helicopters are at home flying to and from yachts, thanks to the company’s extensive experience of deck operations. Leonardo also provides exclusive, bespoke expertise to yacht and superyacht owners.
These VIP helicopters highlight best-in-class performance, the latest certification and safety standards, most modern design, spacious and comfortable cabins, and high levels of customisation. With a share of more than 40% of deliveries in the multi-engine VIP helicopter market, Leonardo is an undisputed leader in the sector. It offers the largest, most modern aircraft models and capabilities, meeting and even exceeding the most stringent certification and safety standards, with a range of advanced technologies for navigation, mission safety and cabin experience.