The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has awarded a contract to The Helicopter Company (THC) in Riyadh for the provision and operation of an AW139 helicopter, crew and maintenance technicians in addition to helicopter flight services during daylight hours.
Signed by TRSDC CEO John Pagano and THC Chairman Raid Ismail, the contract will allow TRSDC emergency medical services (EMS) with alternate configuration change capability for 14-seat passenger utility transport at TRSDC’s site on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.
“We’re very pleased to award this contract to The Helicopter Company, the Kingdom's first commercial helicopter operator,” said Mr. Pagano. “This will give us much-needed aerial support for our staff and construction workers over the vast and remote area of our site. The welfare of our workers is vital to us and this partnership will ensure we are able to respond with speed to medical emergencies, in addition to making us more operationally efficient.”
Under the terms of the contract, THC will work closely with TRSDC’s recently appointed medical services provider International SOS–Al Rushaid (ISOS). ISOS will provide medical crew when necessary and medical equipment, including oxygen bottles for carriage on the helicopter, from the operational base it will share with THC at TRSDC’s Construction Village near Umluj, approximately 145km north-west of Yanbu.
At the peak of construction activity, TRSDC is expecting to have up to 30,000 workers in multiple locations over a 1,000km2 development area. Having the ability to respond rapidly to medical emergencies is a critically important component of TRSDC’s worker welfare program.
THC will provide and maintain an Aerolite three-stretcher kit for the transport of up to three patients on stretchers and stowage of up to four oxygen bottles. The stretcher kit connects to the helicopter power supply and contains various electrical outlets to connect different types of medical devices.
“Today marks the beginning of our fruitful partnership with The Red Sea Development Company and we are proud to be involved in the advancement of a giga-project of the scale and breadth of The Red Sea Project,” said Arnaud Martinez, CEO of THC. “The AW139 is one of the most reliable multipurpose helicopters on a global scale. THC is committed to always providing its clients with exceptional air transport solutions with the latest technology and highest international safety standards. We look forward to further collaborations with TRSDC."
THC recently signed an agreement to buy 10 Airbus H125 helicopters to grow its fleet, increase access to domestic tourism destinations and provide services such as filming, banner-towing and aerial surveying.
Launching its services in 2019, THC was established by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to meet the growing demand for luxury tourism and air travel services. THC supports PIF's strategy to maximize sustainable returns and to launch and develop new sectors.
Located between the towns of AlWajh and Umluj on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, The Red Sea Project is on track to welcome the project’s first visitors by the end of 2022. The first phase of the development will include 16 luxury hotels offering 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts. It will also include a marina, entertainment facilities, an airport and the necessary supporting logistics and utilities infrastructure.
Work is well underway at the destination with the development of key supporting infrastructure and accommodation for the current 4,000-strong workforce and company employees deployed to manage construction.
Upon completion in 2030, the destination will deliver up to 8,000 hotel rooms across 22 islands and six inland sites. The annual number of visitors will be carefully managed to avoid over-tourism and ensure that every guest enjoys a uniquely memorable experience.