16 Nov 2018
Auckland, The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services New Zealand Limited has selected Airbus’ H145.
Due to be delivered in the second half of 2019, the two helicopters will become the first HEMS-configured H145s to enter New Zealand, and will bolster the country’s capacity to provide modern, state-of-the-art air ambulance services in the nation’s south.
The two helicopters will be operated on the South Island by the consortium formed by Helicopters Otago (Dunedin) and GCH Aviation (Christchurch), and will become the flagship of their already in-service fleets of the BK117 and EC145.
In speaking of the new aircraft, Graeme Gale of Helicopters Otago said, “The Airbus H145 was our natural choice for offering air ambulance services. Airbus’ industry-leading safety features, reliability, and importantly, excellent internal space and rear clam shell doors, makes the H145 the perfect air ambulance, suited for any weather condition.”
The H145 is the market leader for emergency medical services and rescue missions, thanks to its exceptional HEMS heritage and safety record with its BK117 and EC145 predecessors. Its popularity is attributed to its high performance and spacious cabin, agility and ability to quickly convert from an air ambulance to other roles such as disaster relief or mountain rescue. The 4-tonne-class twin engine H145 is equipped with state-of-the-art Helionix avionics suite and 4-axis autopilot system, which helps to reduce pilot workload during missions.
With a global fleet of more than 1,400 helicopters of the H145 family, the fleet has accumulated more than five million flight hours. In New Zealand alone, there are currently 41 H145 family of helicopters deployed for aeromedical, search-and-rescue, utility and business aviation purposes.