The UT Health East Texas Air 1 air medical programme has taken delivery of a factory-new EC135 aircraft from Metro Aviation. This aircraft, added to the existing fleet of three recently rebranded aircraft, has also been upgraded with SPIFR certification. Headquartered in Tyler, Texas, the programme will soon boast six precision GPS procedures for its fleet of four helicopters at various hospitals and bases
“We are excited we have the opportunity to replace our first VFR EC135P1 and put it into a backup role,” says Michael Lawyer, director and chief flight nurse at UT Health East Texas Air 1. “This will give us three EC135s with IFR capabilities.”
The GPS procedures, slated to be certified by the end of August 2020, will complement the latest aircraft features, which include a state-of-the-art medical configuration tailored to the needs of the Air 1 service area. Metro also outfitted the helicopter with mission-critical systems like Outerlink's IRIS platform, providing satellite tracking, push-to-talk radio, flight data monitoring and voice and video recording.
“This new aircraft will have WAAS and allow us to reach some of our patients during certain weather days that we would not have been able reach before,” continues Lawyer. “This brings added important safety features to our operations and provides a much-needed advantage to help us provide the best service and outcomes to our patients that we serve in the northeast Texas area.”
UT Health East Texas Air 1 is part of the largest rural not-for-profit ambulance service in Texas and was the second programme Metro ever partnered with, beginning back in 1985.