Canadian non-profit critical care provider STARS has taken delivery of its 10th Airbus H145 helicopter, marking the completion of its initial fleet renewal plans. An Airbus operator for nearly four decades, STARS exclusively entrusts its air medical missions to its fleet of H145s.
“Introducing the H145 to the STARS fleet has greatly enhanced our ability to deliver life-saving care to patients in need from our bases across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba,” says Andrea Robertson, president and CEO of STARS. “Our goal is to continuously expand the envelope of our mission services. We're very happy with the reliability, performance and capability of the H145 and know that it will aid our teams in saving more lives in the communities we serve for generations to come.”
Operating a common fleet of aircraft has allowed the physician-driven organisation to focus on introducing innovations that enhance the service provided to its VIPs (Very Important Patients) such as enhanced weather monitoring and onboard wi-fi.
“We are grateful for the trust that STARS has placed in Airbus Helicopters over the years,” comments Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters and head of the North America region. “Performing on average 10 missions per day across Canada requires aircraft you can count on. I'm confident that the H145 will enable STARS to meet these very challenging mission requirements.”
STARS' fleet renewal commenced with the first delivery in 2019. The initial five deliveries were the four-bladed variant. These aircraft are being upgraded to five blades, with one of the retrofits having already been completed. The final five aircraft were delivered in the five-bladed configuration.
The five-bladed H145, the latest version of the H145 family, boasts 150 kg of increased useful load, simplifies maintenance operations and improves ride comfort for both passengers and crew. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and Airbus's own Helionix digital avionics suite, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. The customised aircraft have been fitted with HEMS interiors to provide the highly specialised emergency medical care for which STARS is known.
Airbus Helicopters is a leading supplier of helicopters in North America and has proudly been a pillar in Canada's aerospace community since 1984. Airbus Helicopters Canada has a 24/7 coast to coast network in place to support an in-service fleet of more than 760 helicopters nationwide. Across all its divisions, namely Helicopters, Commercial Aircraft, and Defence and Space, Airbus currently employs over 4,000 people in Canada supporting aerospace throughout the country.