Texan operator Air Medical Group Holdings is adding a total of 21 Airbus Helicopters aircraft to its fleet for medical transport missions. The agreement consists of a mix of single-engine H125 and twin-engine H135 helicopters, with nine of the orders confirmed in 2018 and deliveries planned over three years beginning in 2019.
“This order will support our company's fleet replacement and growth in the air medical market,” says CEO Fred Buttrell. “In our operation across the United States we perform a critical care transport for a patient every ten minutes and must always be ready at any moment. The H125 and H135 offer an ideal configuration for our various missions, and bring along with them the high level of support we have come to expect from Airbus.”
AMGH is one of Airbus Helicopters' largest customers, with a current Airbus fleet of nearly 85 helicopters. In 2018, the company merged with ground ambulance operator American Medical Response (AMR) to form Global Medical Response (GMR). GMR operates roughly 306 helicopters, 7,000 ground vehicles, 100 fixed wing aircraft and 111 fire vehicles, and it transported more than 13 million patients in 2018.
“The GMR team are one of the best in the business,” says Airbus Helicopters president and head of the North America region Chris Emerson. “We are committed to fully supporting its current fleet, as well as its upcoming H125 and H135 deliveries, while it focuses on finding the best solutions to support its rotary-wing operations. We are extremely proud to provide it with the helicopters it relies on to save lives every single day.”
The H125 features dual hydraulics, dual channel engine FADEC, crash-resistant fuel systems and advanced glass-panel cockpit displays. More than 700 of the latest version of the H125 are currently in operation around the world. In North America, the H125 is built by Airbus Helicopters in Columbus, Mississippi.
The H135 is a market leader in HEMS, and is available in a wide range of dedicated EMS interior configurations. Its cabin volume provides room for patient care and allows direct access to the patient by the crew. To date, the more than 1,300 H135s in service for 300 operators in 60 countries have accumulated five million flight hours.
Airbus says that approximately 55 per cent of the 2,500 helicopters EMS helicopters flying in the world today are its own models. In the US alone, more than half of all new air medical helicopters sold in the last decade were produced by Airbus.