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RJ85 landing on gravel runway Large

Cobham wins Gold Fields Australia contract, adds new FIFO services in Western Australia

Cobham has been awarded a four year contract by one of Australia’s largest gold producers – Gold Fields Australia – to provide fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) services to its Granny Smith and Darlot mining sites in Western Australia.

The contract, which begins in August 2014 and runs until late 2018, involves conducting six return flights per week using jet aircraft capable of operating on gravel runways.

Cobham is introducing an 82 seat RJ-85 jet for the first time in Australia, which it will equip with unique gravel kit capability to provide a faster, more efficient service to Granny Smith and Darlot. The RJ-85 jet will increase the number of workers transported to site in one flight, while reducing the duration of the flight time and the number of services required in a week.

“Replacing our turboprop services with jet services represents great value for money and will increase efficiencies as it enables us to consolidate our FIFO schedule and still travel direct to our sites with gravel runways, while increasing passenger comfort,” Gold Fields Australia Executive Vice President, Richard Weston said.

Cobham’s General Manager Regional Services Ryan Both said the contract award was consistent with the Business Unit’s strategy to organically grow in the Australian FIFO market.

“Cobham is the only aviation service provider in Australia capable of operating jet aircraft to gravel runways and this contract award reflects the market that exists for these services in the resource sector,” Mr Both said.

Cobham introduced gravel kit capability for BAe146 and RJ series aircraft in Australia to enable resource companies to upgrade to jet aircraft services for transporting workers to sites operating with gravel runways. This service significantly reduces travel time to site with a superior passenger experience compared to current turboprop aircraft.