Critical care airlift services from Turkey's THK Gokcen Aviation, a commercial arm of the Turkish Aeronautical Association, are now said to be at full capability following the delivery of its final Airbus Helicopters EC135. Handover occurred at the manufacturer's Donauwörth, Germany, production facility, where the twin-engine rotorcraft is assembled.
The EC135 has proven itself a reliable performer in THK's EMS missions, and has logged more than 2,000 flight hours since entering service in 2013. The operator is utilising its EC135s in the framework of a five-year EMS contract with the Turkish Ministry of Health.
“Our EC135s are performing very well, with high reliability levels in the full range of operating conditions across Turkey,” says Osman Yildirim, president of THK.
Yildirim speaks highly of the wide cabin in the helicopter, and is also impressed with its payload and range. The 135 can carry out low noise operations and has 'oversized' sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors to enable fast loading and unloading of patients. It also has a fenestron for added safety.
THK now operates 17 EC135 heli-copters. The fleet will be supported by subsidiary Asal Aeronautics.