Field Aerospace announced it has been awarded, as Prime Contractor, a contract by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) to supply an aircraft for use by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The De Havilland DHC-8 aircraft will replace the four-engine DHC-7 aircraft in service with BAS since 1994 which was also modified by Field Aerospace, and includes a 3-year maintenance and support program. The contract was signed on 17 March 2022 by Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of British Antarctic Survey, Nigel Bird, Director of Major Programmes at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Brian Love, Chief Commercial Officer, Field Aerospace.
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited and Collins Aerospace have been chosen as major sub-contractors. The base aircraft will be delivered by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, who will also provide training and support. The Collins Aerospace freighter conversion cargo bay door will be installed allowing the aircraft maximum versatility.
British Antarctic Survey (BAS), delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, UK., Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know-how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world-leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs.
The DHC-8 will be used to ferry passengers and cargo to and from the Rothera Research Station, Antarctica in support of polar science and operations.
“We are both excited and proud to work with BAS again.” said Brian Love, chief commercial officer, Field Aerospace. “Our experience and commitment to innovative solutions make Field Aerospace perfectly suited to aid British Antarctic Survey with this modernisation programme.”
DHC-8 300 series aircraft, renowned for its ruggedness and reliability, will be modified to allow for a wide range of missions while ensuring the safety of passengers and crew in one of the most challenging environments in the world. A reconfigurable interior suited for carrying passengers and cargo with an alternate medical transport configuration, long range fuel tanks, and the Collins Aerospace cargo freighter door round out the significant modifications aft of the flight deck. In the Flight Deck BAS will serve as Field Aerospace’s 12th Dash 8 Modernization Program customer. Their flight deck will a complete upgrade including Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and an Inertial Reference Unit (IRU).
“De Havilland Canada is very pleased that British Antarctic Survey has chosen the Dash 8-300 aircraft as the replacement for its long-serving Dash 7 aircraft,” said Philippe Poutissou, vice president, Sales and Marketing, De Havilland Canada. “The Dash 8-300 aircraft’s operational flexibility, excellent performance and durability make it the ideal choice for BAS as they undertake their polar research and operations to help society adapt to a changing world. We are also happy to be working with Field Aerospace and Collins Aerospace on this important program.”