European aviation major Airbus will deliver three single-engine H130 helicopters to Bengaluru-based Aviators Air Rescue for its proposed air ambulance service.
The company plans to launch the service from October and has collaborated with Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) of the US and Airbus Helicopters for this purpose.
“It is an honour for us that Aviators and Air Medical Group Holdings have put their faith in our helicopter to rescue Indian lives threatened by emergency medical situations,” India President of Airbus Helicopters Xavier Hay said in a release.
The three air ambulances are scheduled to be delivered to Aviators from October, it said, adding AMGH and Aviators have options to acquire additional helicopters for use in this venture.
The service will be offered to state governments, rescue groups, hospitals, clinics, public and private companies, and to individuals through subscription, the release said.
Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has recently notified stringent guidelines for offering Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in India, allowing single-engine helicopters for day-time operations.
According to the release, all three H130 will be put to use for medical missions only and will come equipped with specialised equipment for emergency transportation of patients, organs, neo-natal and other critical medical missions.
As part of the trilateral tie-up, Airbus will provide the service rollout, including the training of pilots and medical personnel, and these will be supported by Air Medical Group Holdings Inc.
“With the support of Airbus Helicopters and Air Medical Group Holdings, we will provide India with top-notch air medical services that will be affordable and accessible for everyone. These services will be on par with the established HEMS operations in the US and Europe,” Arun Sharma, Managing Director of Aviators Air Rescue, said.
The H130 can accommodate a stretcher and seat three more attendants or para-medical staff in the cabin. AIRBUS 2 LAST
“India will soon benefit from affordable world class helicopter ambulance services provided by Bengaluru-based Aviators Air Rescue with a fleet of three Airbus H130 helicopters,” Aviators Air Rescue Managing Director Arun Sharma told reporters in Bengaluru.
He said the company’s primary plan is to foray into the five southern states. They might go in for one and twin engined helicopters in the second phase beginning April 2017, depending on capability requirements.
“We will start discussions in the next couple of months because delivery of the helicopters are roughly about eight or 10 months or so. So we have to plan much ahead of time,” he said.
The company also wants to include rescue missions, including sling operations and winch to pull out people, Sharma said.
The service rollout, including training of pilots and medical personnel and definition of practices and procedures, will be supported by Airbus Helicopters and AMGH, he said.