Hot on the heels of its predecessors, the BK117 and EC145, Airbus’ H145 is carving out a significant niche in helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and search-and-rescue. Its popularity derives from its agility, high performance, spacious cabin and ability to quickly convert from an air ambulance to other roles such as disaster relief or mountain rescue. The twin engine H145 is equipped with a state-of-the-art Helionix avionics suite and 4-axis autopilot system, which also helps to reduce pilot workload during missions.
The global fleet numbers 1,400 with 41 of them in New Zealand alone…and two more to soon follow. Due to be delivered in the second half of 2019, the two helicopters will become the first HEMS-configured H145s to enter New Zealand, ordered to help bolster medical response capabilities in the nation’s south. They’ll be operated on the South Island by a consortium formed by Helicopters Otago (Dunedin) and GCH Aviation (Christchurch).
Philippe Monteux, Head of Southeast Asia and Pacific for Airbus Helicopters, was proud to be supporting New Zealand’s vital aeromedical providers: “Airbus has a strong history in New Zealand, with our rotorcraft playing an important part in connecting Kiwis across the country for more than 30 years…As more healthcare providers across Asia Pacific begin devoting resources to developing their HEMS ecosystems in support of critical life-saving missions, I am convinced that the H145 will quickly become the region’s reference for HEMS operations.”