Air Medical Continues Growing, Plans Replacement Aircraft
Air Medical Ltd., better known as AirMed, has seen continued growth during the last year and is looking to replace two of its Cheyenne turboprop air ambulances with new equipment. The Oxford, UK-based operator’s current fleet comprises a pair of Learjet 35As and four Cheyennes.
During 2012 AirMed flew further than it had before and in one week operated to Goa, Bangkok and Brunei. Longer-range aircraft are on the agenda for the future so that such journeys can be undertaken with fewer fuel stops. However, as business development director Jane Topliss pointed out, “We’re a healthcare specialist that operates aircraft.” With that in mind, the company has invested in new onboard medical equipment to increase its range of medical capabilities and specialties, including the most advanced commercially available incubator system.
In 2011 the company became the first fixed-wing air ambulance operator to be fully compliant with the UK’s Care Quality Commission requirements. As with other air ambulance operators, AirMed is currently operating under air taxi regulations, but is pushing for a specific air ambulance definition under the emergency medical services (EMS) classification.
Alongside its air ambulance service, the company operates a Cessna maintenance center: AirMed Engineering. Cessna parts sales for 2012 grew by 472 percent over those in 2011, leading to an achievement award from the OEM, while the company also has the contract to look after the Irish Air Corps’ Cessna 172s. AirMed Engineering is also a specialist for the Cessna 208 Caravan and is currently completing the first conversion in the UK of a Caravan to floatplane configuration.