CASE STUDY:Hunter Westpac

Initially starting as a part-time, voluntary summer beach patrol in 1975, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has grown into a world-class aeromedical search and rescue operation, providing full EMS retrieval and transfer services in Australia.

As a not-for-profit, community-supported operation providing essential services throughout the northern New South Wales region of Australia, Westpac wanted to meet the NSW Government’s aim to improve its Helicopter Retrieval Network. It needed fit-for-purpose aircraft, able to fly life-critical emergency medical missions, and with a flexible lease arrangement.


Higher quality clinical care, delivered faster and safer than before, was the objective. New South Wales is a diverse and large area of Australia covering around 809,500 km² with many residents in remote parts of the region. High quality aircraft with proven performance data were required for Westpac and the government to have confidence in these new additions to the fleet and their role in its strategy. Westpac came to LCI for an agreement to lease the versatile AW139.


LCI proposed a multi-year agreement to lease four new AW139 helicopters to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. The delivery schedule (in 2016) places the aircraft in Newcastle, Tamworth and Lismore, following comprehensive fit-out for EMS operations. The high-specification helicopters include full medical and rescue essential equipment and winch. Financed under a tripartite, 10-year arrangement with Westpac Banking Corporation, an existing financier of LCI and long-term naming rights sponsor of the helicopter operator, this new relationship brings benefits for all parties.


Working with NSW Ambulance, on behalf of NSW Health within the Government of New South Wales, the new helicopters will bring better, safer healthcare and emergency rescue services across the north of the NSW region. In turn, this improves safety and patient outcomes in Australia and serves as an example for how modern, high-performance aircraft can be adapted and deployed in remote settings. 

John Candy, Commercial Finance Manager at the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, commented:”We are excited to be working with LCI to upgrade our fleet. As we worked together on the NSW Health contract throughout 2014 that experience endorsed our choice of aircraft lessor in LCI, with their team going above and beyond to support our bid.”

The LCI team went above and beyond to support us.