American Eurocopter continues to maintain its position as the leader in the U.S. air medical services industry with a market share of 60% and more than 630 of its aircraft currently in air medical service across the country.
American Eurocopter’s air medical deliveries have outnumbered the competition by more than three-to-one over the last decade, including the EC130, EC135, EC145 and EC155, with the EC135 becoming an industry favorite.
“Over the last ten years, the EC135 has accounted for over 80% of the light twin helicopters delivered to the U.S. air medical industry,” said American Eurocopter President and CEO Marc Paganini. “With its cabin size, flexibility, performance and reliability, the EC135 has become the twin-engine helicopter of choice in the air medical services industry.”
Since January of 2012, 21 orders were placed for American Eurocopter aircraft to be utilized in the air medical industry including California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) who agreed to purchase up to eight EC135 helicopters. Headquartered at McClellan, California, CALSTAR operates nine full-time bases in northern and central California and is the largest nonprofit air ambulance provider on the west coast. Placed in August, the order will allow CALSTAR to replace its older, non-Eurocopter aircraft, becoming an all-Eurocopter operator.
“We performed a very detailed review of our mission profile and our requirements so that we could begin the process of upgrading and standardizing our fleet,” explained CALSTAR President and CEO Lynn Malmstrom. “Once we evaluated all the aircraft, the EC135 was the best suited for our current and future mission needs.”
American Eurocopter has also delivered 27 aircraft for air medical service this year, including an EC145 to the University of Utah’s AirMed Program in July–the program’s first Eurocopter aircraft. Celebrating its 40th year of operation this month, AirMed currently has a fleet of four helicopters, and the new EC145 will provide a much-needed upgrade to one of its older aircraft when it’s put into service in November 2012.
“We were getting to the point where it wasn’t cost effective to operate our other helicopter, and we needed to make a change in order to provide our patients with the type of service they need and deserve,” explained Rob Stantus, AirMed Program Manager. “We evaluated several twin-engine aircraft during our selection process. The EC145 was the only one to meet all of our requirements: performance, cabin size, flexibilities, capabilities, and more. We are looking forward to adding this aircraft to our fleet.”
American Eurocopter, the leading provider of helicopters to the U.S. air medical transport industry, announce that ShandsCair, the air medical and critical care transport system for Shands at the University of Florida, has purchased an EC155 B1.
With a range of more than 300 miles, the EC155 B1 will expand ShandsCair coverage area in North Central Florida and Southern Georgia. Additionally, the large cabin will provide enough room to allow an increased level of patient care. The aircraft, the first EC155 B1 in the ShandsCair fleet, will be based in Gainesville, Florida, along with the program’s existing EC135.
The EC155 B1 is the newest of the American Eurocopter EC155 cabin class aircraft. Its smooth flight characteristics and large cabin will enable the ShandsCair staff to provide a wide range of high quality patient services during flight. The aircraft is being completed at Metro Aviation and is expected to be in service December of 2013.
“We made the decision to purchase the EC155 as we addressed long term range and long term safety of the aircraft,” said ShandsCair COO Ed Jimenez. In addition to being more spacious and technologically advanced, ShandsCair will be able to service the entire state without stopping for additional fuel.
Having provided care for nearly 45,000 patients since December 1981, the ShandsCair team strives to deliver excellence in patient care during transport, using specialized teams, vehicles and equipment in a safe, cost-effective manner with the goal of improving patient outcome. The ShandsCair aircraft operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a helicopter based in Gainesville and just south of Ocala, Florida, typically transporting patients from prehospital scenes within a 75-mile radius. Community hospital emergency rooms and ICU’s up to a 185-mile radius are also serviced by helicopter.
“We are pleased to once again provide our products and services to ShandsCair,” said American Eurocopter Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, Treg Manning. We are proud to enhance their capabilities with the large cabin, excellent speed, and long-range that the EC155 B1 provides.”
As the most technologically advanced helicopter in its class, the EC155 B1 offers a significantly larger cabin than previously available and includes a new technology five-blade Spheriflex main rotor and an even quieter Fenestron tail rotor to provide the benefits of high speed and low noise, with state-of-the-art avionics reducing pilot workload and ensuring ease of maintenance. The EC155 is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 engines with Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC). The high-set main rotor and shrouded Fenestron contribute to ground handling safety while the wheeled retractable undercarriage also ensures freedom to taxi on the most congested ramp.
American Eurocopter has delivered three EC135s to Med-Trans with a fourth scheduled for delivery in November.
Med-Trans, an industry leading air medical provider, signed an agreement in August to purchase up to 16 EC135 helicopters. The order includes 10 firm bookings and options for an additional six helicopters. The new EC135s will help Med-Trans sustain its market growth and expansion with their new partners in various locations throughout the country.
“We originally selected the EC135 because we wanted a fleet that was not only versatile and reliable, but one that also provided a flexible and adaptable platform that would meet current mission demands and grow with us to meet the needs of our expanding customer base,” said Fred Buttrell, president and CEO of Med-Trans Corporation. “With the addition of these new EC135s we will be able to continue to provide economical aircraft solutions that maximize patient care and partner satisfaction throughout our wider service regions.”
The EC135 has established itself as one of the premier helicopters in the U.S. air medical market. One of the highlights of this was Med-Trans’ selection of the EC135 as the platform for many of its life-saving air medical programs in 2007 with the purchase of eight EC135s and eight options. With the recent delivery, Med-Trans now has 23 EC135s in its fleet.
“The EC135 was designed to meet the demands of operators in variety of mission environments providing high performance, extended range, flexibility, and reliability,” said American Eurocopter Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, Treg Manning. “American Eurocopter is proud to support Med-Trans in providing the highest quality of care to their patients.”
Worldwide, there are more than 1,000 EC135s in service, with approximately 50 percent working in emergency medical services.
STAT MedEvac continues the upgrade of its fleet with the addition of five American Eurocopter twin-engine aircraft – three EC135 T2e helicopters and two EC145 helicopters – which are part of an ongoing strategy at STAT to continually upgrade its fleet with the latest aircraft and the newest technology.
STAT MedEvac continues the upgrade of its fleet with the addition of five American Eurocopter twin-engine aircraft – three EC135 T2e helicopters and two EC145 helicopters.
STAT MedEvac took delivery of the aircraft from April to June of this year with all being placed into service following their completion by Metro Aviation. STAT has been a Eurocopter customer since 1984 and was the first air medical provider to operate the EC135 in the United States back in 1997.
“As we upgrade our helicopters, we always thoroughly evaluate the aircraft available,” said Doug Garretson, President and Chief Executive Officer of STAT MedEvac. “We chose the EC135s and the EC145s from American Eurocopter. It comes down to product performance and support. They currently are the best products for our missions and the team at American Eurocopter works with us to help ensure that our aircraft are available to meet the needs of our crews and our customers.”
STAT MedEvac now has a fleet of 21 aircraft consisting of 14 EC135s and seven EC145s. Throughout the development of the fleet, STAT has developed a strategic upgrade and long-term financial plan that allows it to invest in the newest aircraft and best technology. These new aircraft are being phased into the fleet to help ensure that STAT has the helicopters and the tools to provide its essential services.
“American Eurocopter enjoys a near 30 year relationship with STAT Medevac,” said American Eurocopter Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, Treg Manning. “They have grown from a single ship, VFR operation to the largest, and one of the premier, twin engine, IFR air medical programs in the country. STAT has continued to enhance their intense focus on safety while transitioning to their own part 135 and a 21-aircraft operation. We are truly proud to have been part of this evolution and their success.”
Both the EC135 and the EC145 were designed to meet the unique requirements of operators in several industries. Because of their cabin size, flexibility, performance and reliability, the aircraft have become preferred helicopters in a variety of industries in the United States, particularly in the air medical services industry. The EC135 and the EC145 share similar characteristics and their common cockpit layouts and technology can add up to operational cost savings and increased training efficiency within an organization like STAT MedEvac.
“We have standardized on the EC135 and EC145 platforms because they are the products that best meet our needs and because of the additional efficiencies we have been able to establish,” explains Garretson. “Using a common helicopter platform allows us to more effectively manage our fleet’s maintenance program. We are also able to cross-train all our pilots on both aircraft, which helps ensure maximum flexibility in scheduling and personnel availability.”
STAT MedEvac was the first helicopter and HEMS FAA Part 135 air carrier to apply and be accepted into the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program and currently is the only HEMS operator to have obtained the ARGUS Platinum rating for safety. STAT’s fleet operates from 17 bases in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. These regional bases link rural and community health resources with advanced tertiary care centers and provide quick access to advanced care. STAT MedEvac, a service of the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania, Inc., is directed by a consortium of hospitals that include: UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and UPMC Mercy Hospital.
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS.