Leonardo, June 17, 2020 - Leonardo announced that the AW109 Trekker light twin engine helicopter has been chosen as the new helicopter to support Emergency Medical Service (EMS) operations from Rouen Hospital in Normandie, France.
One aircraft, with a specially customised EMS interior, is expected be delivered by the end of 2020 from Leonardo’s Vergiate final assembly line in Italy, and the rotorcraft will be operated by S.A.F. Hélicoptères.
The SAF Hélicoptères’ AW109 Trekker-based offer was selected following a thorough and rigorous tender process outperforming competing types. The contract award marks the entrance of this Leonardo light twin helicopter model into the French civil helicopter market and follows the success of the AW109 Power and Grand for EMS tasks in the country.
This achievement also expands the number of French commercial customers using Leonardo helicopters such as the AW109 series, AW169 and AW139 for a range of roles including EMS and VIP/corporate transport. The AW109 Trekker is the perfect fit to meet other EMS requirements in France in the future.
Tristan Serretta, CEO of SAF Hélicoptères said “We’re proud to be the future supplier of helicopter EMS services from Rouen Hospital. As a helicopter operator, we’re always looking at proposing high-end economically-viable solutions to our customers. The team here is excited to introduce the Leonardo AW109 Trekker into SAF’s fleet. The region will benefit from our solid expertise and experience of HEMS combined with the exceptional capabilities in terms of EMS interior, performance, advanced avionics, safety standards of the Trekker. We look forward to starting operations supporting the local community.”
The AW109 Trekker maintains the AW109 Grand airframe, large cabin and top-class performance while offering greater payload at a competitive cost, thus proving perfectly suited to meet the stringent requirements of operators in terms of capabilities and cost/effectiveness.
Large sliding doors on both sides ensure easy entry and exit for litters and medical attendants. The AW109 Trekker is the latest addition to Leonardo’s helicopter portfolio and the Company’s first light twin to offer skid landing gear. The fastest light twin for rescue intervention and the only featuring a cabin allowing full patient body accessibility from head to toes for EMS, the AW109 Trekker is equipped with a latest generation Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit that can be configured according to customer needs: one or two pilots, VFR or IFR.
Over 70 AW109 Trekkers have already been sold to customers around the world to date for multiple missions such as EMS / SAR, VIP transport, offshore, utility, law enforcement. To date over 1,500 AW109 series units have been sold globally for the widest scope of missions.
About SAF Helicopters: Groupe SAF has celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and was built on a mountain rescue and population-protection DNA. SAF today operates 65 helicopters and supply services addressing the whole helicopter ecosystem. SAF provides medical transports, lift and heavy-lift, mountain rescue aerial work, VIP transport and touristic flights, maintenance and training.
The group operates thanks to its specialised range of “brother-in-arms companies”: SAF Hélicoptères and SAF International for the utility and HEMS market, AZUR Hélicoptère in charge of VIP Transport in the Cote d’Azur, the Alps and Paris, HELILAGON for the whole range of services in La Réunion island, SAF Industries and its four workshops and finally SAF Training Academy and its two full-flight simulators. As of today, SAF is the only operator in France providing NVG operations.