On February 20, the FAA issued a far-reaching final rule that will require helicopter operators, including air ambulance services, to abide by stricter flight rules and procedures that better prepare both pilots and helicopters for safer operations. Within 60 days, all operators will be required to use enhanced procedures for flying in challenging weather, at night, and when landing in remote locations.
Inaer Spain has won the tender issued by the Emergency Medical Service of Madrid for a four-year air ambulance contract with an option for a two-year extension. For the service, Inaer will operate an AgustaWestland AW109 and a Bell 412EP. It will provide four pilots, four copilots and four technicians. Both the crews and the helicopters will be based at Las Rozas and Lozoyuela heliports.
A little more than a month after Ontario’s provincially funded air ambulance service Ornge suffered a fatal crash, the Province’s coroner has released the results of a special investigation into 40 Ornge patient transport-related deaths between 2006 and 2012. Operational errors at Ornge contributed to eight of those deaths, according to the July report, which also made 25 recommendations to improve service at Ornge.
The UK’s East Anglian Air Ambulance charity organization and its helicopter operator, Bond Air Services, have been allowed to fly emergency medical service missions at night, using night-vision goggles. The charity believes that it will be able to conduct approximately 30 percent more missions, helping an estimated 300 more patients a year. Special equipment also includes a powerline detection system.
German air ambulance specialist Flight Ambulance International (Booth 1047) has named Abu Dhabi Airports Company’s Al Bateen Executive Airport as its preferred stopover airport in the Middle East region. Under the agreement, Al Bateen will host two Learjet 60s dedicated to air ambulance service and served by German Medical Teams. A Learjet 60 air ambulance can accommodate a medical team, one patient and two patient escorts and can carry critically ill patients between Abu Dhabi and anywhere in the world.
Nextant Aerospace announced its first special-mission configuration for its 400XT–an air ambulance interior conversion from Spectrum Aeromed–yesterday at ABACE. The $100,000 self-contained equipment package will enable operators to convert the jet’s interior from a VIP configuration to a critical-care environment, including advanced cardiac life support, in less than 30 minutes. Nextant also plans to develop more special-mission applications for the 400XT.
Canadian air ambulance operator Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, has introduced a new interior for its AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters that allows paramedics to perform CPR “at any time during flight, reduces the risk of tubes snagging on equipment and gives better access to the patient and medical bags and supplies.”
The man charged with overseeing the investigation into patient deaths at Ontario’s provincially funded air ambulance service was named its new CEO yesterday. Ontario coroner Andrew McCallum, M.D., a certified private pilot, former Canadian Forces flight surgeon and emergency medicine specialist, will take over the troubled air ambulance service in January.
Ontario’s troubled air ambulance provider, Ornge, has been approved for patient transport to and from the U.S. after successful completion of an FAA review process. “The hard work, dedication and know-how of our entire aviation team has paid off with a successful application to fly Ornge helicopters to the U.S.” said Ron McKerlie, interim CEO of Ornge. “While helicopter patient transports to the U.S.
Gama Aviation announced today that the Scottish Ambulance Service has again selected the company to be its dedicated provider of air ambulance services, extending its contract for seven more years, to 2020. Gama’s Scottish fleet includes a Beechcraft King Air 200C at both Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports and a Eurocopter EC135T2 at both Glasgow and Inverness. The two EC135s will be replaced with two new EC145T2s next year.
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