Turkish operator Kocoglu Aviation is massively increasing the size of its helicopter fleet to meet the demands of its country's emergency services. Kocoglu expects to be operating ten EC135s, an EC145 and an EC155 on lease by August. It will also operate six emergency medical service-configured AW109 Power light twins. "The first of these is already in service and five more will be in service by September 2009," the company says. It has options for additional helicopters.
The helicopters will perform emergency medical services to and from hospitals equipped with helicopter landing facilities. They were ordered by Kocoglu for the Turkish government's Emergency Helicopter Medical Service (EHMS) project. In less than one year, the company says, it has invested €100 million to meet the needs of the Turkish health ministry as part of a renewable five-year contract.
The company adds: "This is the first time that a project of this scale has been introduced in Turkey. Kocoglu Aviation only won the tender launched by the ministry in the summer of last year but we have been working hard to ensure the project's success."
Kocoglu Aviation says the helicopters have been dubbed the 'Red Angels' in recognition of their paint scheme. "They have been flying an average of six hours a day saving lives in every region of Turkey," the company says. Major cities where they are operating include Ankara, Istanbul, Erzurum, Diyarbakir, Kayseri and Antalya. Over time the helicopters will be deployed in other cities.
Maintenance is provided by Skyline, Kocoglu Aviation's subsidiary, and Eurocopter has pledge to speed up its project to build a certified maintenance centre in Ankara for all its helicopters. Eurocopter has provided training courses for more than 20 pilots and 30 technicians in under a year.
AgustaWestland says Skyline has been appointed as its service centre for the AW109 Power and Grand models in Turkey. "Skyline will offer on-site support services to Kocoglu Aviation's fleet and to other AW109 Power and Grand operators in Turkey and Northern Cyprus," it adds. The main maintenance centre is located at Ankara Airport with line maintenance hangars available in other cities.
Kocoglu Aviation is part of Kocoglu Holding which is involved in construction, tourism, energy, agriculture and transport as well as aviation. Established in 2005, Kocoglu Aviation offers EMS services, vip transport and air cargo.
Kocoglu Aviation has 19 heliports, 19 hangars and maintenance facilities with more than 250 employees. Sky Line is an authorised JAR 145 organisation for repair and maintenance services.