Canadian air ambulance operator Stars has become the first North American operator of the five-blade Airbus Helicopters H145 light twin. The company accepted the aircraft on Friday at its Fort Erie, Ontario base. Stars, a physician-driven, non-profit helicopter air ambulance operation, serves western Canada.
The new H145 is part of Stars's fleet-renewal program that will see it take 10 of the new aircraft and eventually give it an all-H145 fleet, with all-new aircraft either delivered as the five-blade variant or converted to it via retrofit. These H145s are replacing its fleet of BK117s and were selected after an independent review indicated the necessity for Stars to operate a unified, single-model helicopter fleet.
“By renewing our fleet with the H145, we deliver on our commitment to continually enhance the emergency care services we provide, as each life we save makes a huge difference in someone’s family, someone’s community,” said CEO Andrea Robertson.
The five-blade H145 features a 330-pound useful load increase and simplified maintenance. It is powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines and equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite. More than 760 Airbus helicopters are currently in service throughout Canada.