German air ambulance specialist FAI rent-a-jet is enhancing its capabilities by undertaking the first ever Global Express medevac conversion. The operator has contracted US company Spectrum Aeromed to develop and build a bespoke intensive care unit (ICU). Once complete, it will be installed on the Global Express by FAI's MRO subsidiary FAI Technik in Nuremberg. The reconfigured aircraft, which is currently under-going a 12-month C-Check and installation of an XRS-cabin, will be based at Albrecht Durer International airport in Nuremberg and is expected to enter service by the end of 2015.
“With this conversion we are aiming to fill a small but important niche in the air ambulance market for ultra-long range transport of vip patients from Asia and the Middle East to and from the USA,” says chairman Siegfried Axtmann. “We collaborated with Spectrum three years ago when we developed the first multi-patient interior for a CRJ200. That project was extremely successful so we have chosen them again. We know they can match our expectations in terms of scope of work, budget and delivery times.”
The ICU's basic system can also be used on the FAI's fleet of Challengers and Learjets, to which the company has added a ninth Learjet 60 as it continues its strategy of replacing its older aircraft types. The Learjet 60 will be dedicated to special mission and medevac purposes.
Last year FAI averaged 14 international medical evacuations a week. Its fleet now consists of three Global Express, four Challenger 604s, nine Learjet 60s, four Learjet 55s and a Learjet 35A. It is anticipated that a fifth Challenger 604 will join the fleet before the end of this month.