Leaders of Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) and Aviators Air Rescue accepted delivery of the first of three Airbus Helicopters H130s, which the companies will use to launch the first affordable single-engine helicopter emergency medical services operation in India.
Dallas-based AMGH, a leading U.S. air medical transport and EMS provider with hundreds of critical care aircraft in operation, has joined forces with Aviators to bring the first economical helicopter emergency medical services to India utilizing Airbus Helicopters aircraft. It is a trailblazing effort for the three companies in the world’s seventh largest country geographically with the second highest population.
AMGH and Aviators began preparations for the India operation earlier this year following the release of regulatory guidelines by the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The regulations allow the use of more economical and fuel-efficient single-engine, dual-pilot helicopters for HEMS operations. The new venture will primarily be run by Aviators management, with technical expertise and standards oversight provided by AMGH.
India, with more than 1.2 billion residents and few if any dedicated EMS helicopters, recently adopted rules permitting more efficient and affordable single-engine helicopter EMS operations. Comparatively, the U.S. has a population of 321 million people already served by more than 1,500 EMS helicopters.
“This is a bold venture that AMGH and Aviators are undertaking, one that has great potential to save lives in India and the Airbus Helicopters team is excited to play a role in helping to develop the opportunities there,” said Chris Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters.
“Hundreds of helicopters produced by Airbus Helicopters are used daily to rush critically ill and injured patients to emergency medical care facilities in the U.S. and around the globe. Airbus Helicopters pledges its full support for the long-term success of the AMGH-Aviators enterprise in India.”
AMGH-Aviators placed an initial order for three EMS-equipped H130s, which will launch the new Indian operation during in the fourth quarter of 2016. Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Grand Prairie is completing the aircraft on a tight delivery timeline.
“AMGH and Aviators are delighted that the Airbus Helicopters team responded to the challenge of quickly producing these specially-equipped H130 helicopters for service in India,” said AMGH CEO Fred Buttrell.
“Our company has an outstanding track record of providing safe, high-quality air medical transport services and we will join with Aviators to bring life-saving service to the people of India.”
The Airbus Helicopters team will conduct pilot training in Grand Prairie and technician training in Marignane, France. Airbus Helicopters India will provide additional training, service, and support for the aircraft in the country. AMGH and Aviators have options to acquire additional Airbus Helicopters aircraft for their Indian operations.
“We congratulate AMGH and Aviators on pioneering HEMS services in India. Airbus Helicopters will provide end-to-end support to Aviators with its India-based support and services team. Our focus will be to ensure the mission-readiness of the aircraft at all times since we understand the importance of aircraft availability for the success of this critical mission.” said Xavier Hay, President of Airbus Helicopters in India.
The H130s produced for India include dual-pilot flight controls as required by Indian law, as well as specialized emergency medical care equipment. The helicopters were sold and will be equipped by Airbus Helicopters Inc. of Grand Prairie, the leading provider of helicopters to the U.S. air medical transport industry.
“Aviators will provide the people of India with emergent, high-quality air medical services that will be affordable and accessible for everyone,” said Arun Sharma, Managing Director of Aviators Air Rescue.
“We will provide the high level of service that AMGH is known for in the U.S.”
Aviators will offer EMS through state governments, rescue groups, hospitals, clinics, public and private companies, and to individuals through subscriptions.
The Airbus Helicopters H130 is considered the global reference for single-engine helicopter air ambulance missions, offering a twin-engine size cabin with single-engine economics. The wide, unobstructed cabin allows easy and unobstructed full-body access to care for patients and has large hinged and sliding doors for rapid patient loading and unloading. The low interior sound levels and flat floor of the H130 provide a flexible cabin environment capable of accommodating up to three medical crew and specialty team equipment required to care for complex patients.