Norsk Luftambulanse Takes Over Three Medical Bases
Norsk Luftambulanse AS takes over operation responsibility for all the 12 medical helicopter bases in Norway from June 1st, 2018. Two new AW139 will join the H145/EC145T2
Norsk Luftambulanse, May 31, 2018 - During the past few weeks there has been a great deal of involvement in the air ambulance service in Norway.
How this service will be organized in the future is a debate The Norwegian Luftambulans Foundation welcomes.
Our position is that the Norwegian Aerospace Foundation should operate the service in close cooperation with the state. Then, Norway's population will have an air ambulance service that combines 40 years of experience with continued extensive research and development, based on the public virtue that the Norwegian Luftambulans Foundation represents.
While the politicians are considering and discussing how the air ambulance service will be organized in the future, our subsidiary Norsk Luftambulanse AS takes over the operator responsibility for all the 12 medical helicopter bases in Norway on 1 June. Norsk Luftambulanse AS won the helicopter offer in the summer of 2016. An enormous effort has been put down every single day in order to be able to deliver preparedness from midnight on 1 June.
The phasing-in of 15 new helicopters and checks by hundreds of pilots, rescuers, doctors and technicians is a time-consuming process. Delays and unforeseen events are the norm in such large acquisitions. This delivery, which was to be carried out in just under two years, has not been fully catered for for such challenges.
- The two largest helicopters, AW139 based on Ålesund and Tromsø, are somewhat delayed from the supplier Leonardo despite the fact that we bought options to secure space in the queue for two years before we were awarded a contract and a booking was made immediately after our contract award in the summer of 2016, "says Rune Midtgaard, Managing Director of Norsk Luftambulanse AS.
One of the helicopters has arrived in Norway and is prepared to be put into operation. What remains is procedural development and training, in addition, the manufacturer must receive technical approval from the Eurasian Aviation Safety Authority (EASA).
A H145 T2 helicopter from Airbus is placed as a reserve during this period. This is scheduled for use between 6-10 weeks annually. Because the helicopters that have been used in Tromsø and Ålesund to date do not meet the requirements of our contract with the state, they can not be used in an intermediate phase. Additionally, it is very difficult to transfer approvals and develop procedures for your own booklet for such a short period, "Midtgaard points out.
From 1 June, brand new helicopters will operate all the bases, and Norsk Luftambulanse AS has therefore sold its old fleet.
"Nevertheless, Norsk Luftambulanse AS, precisely because the company assumes that the patient's consideration matters heavier than money, ensuring that he has the right of disposal over the old helicopters until 1 August. From midnight on June 1, there will therefore be medical helicopters in full preparedness for all bases, including the bases in Tromsø and Ålesund, according to the contract with the state, "says Midtgaard.