An AS355 helicopter destined for Gabon’s police service is stuck in France as payment has not been made for the aircraft.
Gabon Review in late September reported that the aircraft has been sitting in a hangar in France for more than three years over an outstanding CFA656 million ($1.1 million) invoice for maintenance.
French company Heli Technique was tasked with performing maintenance on the aircraft as well as upgrading it. According to Africa Intelligence, the aircraft was purchased through Eurotradia, a consultancy firm now integrated into the ADIT group.
Scramble reports that Gabon’s Gendarmerie Nationale has a single AS355 in its inventory for aerial support. The Gendarmerie’s aerial assets belong to the Aviation Leger des Armees and are operated from Libreville.
This is complemented by a single AS350 helicopter operated by the Police Nationale, and the Republic Guard’s air fleet. The Garde Republicaine Gabonaise flies n business jets, like the Falcon 900EX and G-IVSP, AS332 VIP helicopters and even a Boeing 777, but also SA342L and MB326 light aircraft. The Republic Guard is tasked with presidential protection.