Two North American HEMS operators have signed for a total of six Airbus Helicopters types at the 2018 Air Medical Transport Conference, which recently took place in Phoenix, Arizona, expanding the OEM's presence on the continent.
REACH Air Medical Services will add three H125s and two H130s to its current fleet. The new aircraft slated for delivery later this year will allow the operator to expand its service area while modernising its fleet. Headquartered in Sacramento, California, REACH is a subsidiary of Global Medical Response, which provides critical care air transport service to communities throughout California, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Texas and Colorado.
Medical Air Rescue Company (MARC) is a new customer for Airbus and has signed for an H130. The acquisition is part of the company's long-term plan to modernise its fleet and expand its operations into the challenging mountainous regions of Wyoming, where the aircraft will be based. Scheduled for delivery in December, the H130 will help the growing organisation serve roughly 2,400 patients a year across South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and Texas.
“Airbus Helicopters has been supporting the air medical market in North America since its creation, and we are proud to further our partnership with customers to help save lives in the safest and most modern aircraft,” says president and head of the North America region Chris Emerson.
These orders come on the heels of two milestones for the twin-engine H145 in North America's EMS market. In March 2018, Boston MedFlight took delivery of its first of three H145s, becoming the first air medical company in the US to operate an H145 in EMS configuration. In 2019, the H145 will begin EMS flights in Canada for the first time with Alberta-based STARS air ambulance, which was selected as the preferred aircraft type for its fleet renewal.
In the past decade alone, nearly two-thirds of all new EMS helicopters sold in the US were produced by Airbus Helicopters. Today, more than 90 EMS operators in North America rely on more than 1,230 Airbus helicopters for their emergency care transport needs.