New South Wales-based Pel-Air has signed a purchase contract with Textron Aviation for five Beechcraft King Air 350 air ambulance turboprop aircraft. The aircraft, configured for multi-stretcher operations, will be equipped with the aft cargo door and heavy weight options for additional performance capabilities. Deliveries are expected to begin later this year and run through 2021.
The five King Air turboprops will be used by Pel-Air to provide contracted air ambulance service to NSW Ambulance over the next 10 years, starting in January 2022. NSWA is a government agency providing emergency services in New South Wales as part of NSW Health Service. Based in Mascot at Sydney Airport, the aircraft will replace the current mixed fleet of King Air B200 and B350 aircraft that have been used to support NSW Ambulance to date. Pel-Air was awarded a similar contract with Ambulance Victoria in December 2009, and this contract was extended last year until 2023.
“The King Air has proven itself very adept for special missions, particularly for air ambulance operations in New South Wales, where much of the need is to and from rural areas and unimproved runways that dominate our service area,” says Eugene Lee, Pel-Air COO. “A key to our success has been the timely customer service from Textron Aviation, which has already been supporting Pel-Air's King Air fleet for the past 10 years in the Ambulance Victoria contract. We are confident that this excellent support will continue in the NSW Ambulance contract.”
“We're very proud that NSW Ambulance has chosen to stay with the King Airs in support of its critical emergency service operational needs in New South Wales,” adds Bob Gibbs, VP of defence and special mission sales for Textron Aviation. “The King Air is the world leader in turboprop special missions because of the aircraft's unmatched capabilities and reliability.”
The King Air is one of the most popular turboprop models in Australia, which boasts the largest King Air fleet in the Asia Pacific region. Textron Aviation supports nearly 200 King Air aircraft in a variety of configurations throughout Australia.