BAN's World GazetteerItaly
Norsk Luftambulanse (NLA) of Norway has signed a contract for an AW169 light twin-engined helicopter for EMS. The aircraft will feature an advanced EMS mission configuration including avionic solutions to enable night and low visibility operations and specific mission equipment such as a retractable soft terrain ski set-up.
The AW169 can accommodate one or two stretchers, either long-itudinally or transversally, making it well suited to operations where in-flight stretcher recovery is required. The large cabin can also accommodate wheeled stretchers and can be configured with a full suite of advanced life support equipment.
The avionic suite includes a digital NVG compatible cockpit with three eight by ten inch displays for enhanced situational awareness, along with a flight management system for VFR and IFR operations. The aircraft is also able to carry out satellite-based IFR localiser performance with vertical guidance approaches to maximise round-the-clock utilisation.
NLA operates eight of Norway's 11 air ambulance helicopter bases. It recently won the tender to open an additional base in Evenes in northern Norway. Since October it has been delivering air ambulance services in Denmark from three new bases.
Back in 2006 it was the first air ambulance operator in Europe to use Point in Space (PinS) flight procedures, using satellite based navigation systems that assist life-saving operations in adverse weather conditions. The company is owned by Norway's largest non-profit member-ship organisation, the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, which has over 700,000 members and promotes research, education and development of the service.