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Business Air News Bulletin
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LifeFlight Australia orders three HEMS/SAR AW139s
Leonardo's AW139 fleet in Australia grows stronger with order for three more HEMS/SAR helicopters by LifeFlight Australia
LifeFlight Australia COO Lee Schofield.

LifeFlight Australia has expanded its fleet of helicopters with an order for three new AW139s to meet increasing demand and to provide more emergency aeromedical care to Queenslanders.

The helicopters, expected to arrive later in the year, will provide emergency medical services and search and rescue response missions. The new additions will take the LifeFlight Australia fleet to 19 rotary and four fixed wing aircraft, including 16 AW139s, making it one of the largest fleets in Australia.

LifeFlight operates from eight Queensland bases and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, directly servicing an area of 1.85 million square kilometres. It supports search and rescue efforts across 53 million square kilometres of land and sea for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Chief operating officer Lee Schofield says the new assets would help the organisation to meet soaring demand for its services, while also replacing some older aircraft: "As demand for our services increases, so does the need for aircraft, pilots and specially trained crews, to ensure we can meet that demand and continue to save lives. The AW139s have the latest in avionics technology, patient care and search and rescue capability. This type of helicopter has the technology, size, versatility, readiness and advanced capabilities that make it ideal for emergency services requirements in Australia. We are proud to be investing in the growth of our fleet and expansion of our operational capabilities, and the new aircraft orders are a key part of this strategy."

Last year LifeFlight Australia helped a record 7,455 people, a 15 per cent increase on the previous year with rescue crews helping an average 143 patients per week or one person every 70 minutes. In the outback, out to sea or on the side of a mountain, the helicopter crews completed 2,851 missions, an increase of 28 per cent on the previous year total of 2,223.

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