Metro Aviation, the Shreveport, La., EMS provider and completions facility, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The company was launched at Baton Rouge Municipal Airport, then moved to Shreveport. Metro Aviation initially provided aircraft maintenance services and flew aeromedical and news gathering missions in a Hughes 500. The missions were unique, in that while gathering news, the helicopter was on standby for EMS calls. When an EMS mission popped up, the patient would board, swapping places with the camera operator who would leave the tape from the news gathering operation to be dropped off after the patient was taken to the hospital.
Metro Aviation (Booth No. 2110) claims to be the largest privately owned air medical operator in the U.S., with a fleet of more than 90 helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes. In the 1980s, Metro began offering completions services and pioneered installations of IFR avionics packages and custom interiors. More than 500 people work for Metro, which has more than 160,000 sq ft of hangar and office space.