The Leonardo AW169 is the first to be put into operational service in the Nordic area
Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance (BSAA) announced January 16th, 2017 that the Babcock operated service had launched the first state-of-the-art AW169 helicopter into active Emergency Medical Service (EMS) duty in the Nordics. The helicopter is operated on behalf of Region Jämtland Härjedalen in Scandinavia and replaces an older Airbus Helicopters AS365N2 Dauphin that had been operated in the region since 2006.
Shortly after 10:00 on Saturday, January 13, the new helicopter took off on its first mission assignment – a long-distance patient transport. Later that afternoon, a very satisfied crew returned to Östersund after more than four hours spent in the air providing critical care during the patient transport flight.
“It’s a big and historic event for us and for the region to finally get airborne – in active duty – with the AW169,” says company Production Manager Thure Waplan. “The launch has been preceded by a long period of customization and training to ensure the highest quality and safety right from the start, which means that we are very delighted to start our operations with such a capable helicopter.”
The medical environment is greatly improved in this brand-new helicopter, while providing a host of customized solutions that are optimized for EMS. The list of advantages is long, but the most important ones include enhanced performance and improved safety. The sophisticated cockpit delivers better situational awareness while allowing more advanced flight automation.
The base in Östersund is the first of four Swedish EMS helicopter bases that will replace its existing helicopters with the Leonardo AW169s in 2018. Next in line are Gällivare, Lycksele and the newly awarded base in Gothenburg, Sweden. Simultaneously, work is also underway to replace the current helicopters at the company’s base in Stockholm with two new Airbus H145 this spring.
“Overall, we are currently embarked on the most extensive upgrade of Sweden’s EMS helicopter inventory ever”, says Waplan. ” We manage this task with great confidence and respect, and we are also very grateful for the trust we are given.”
About the AW169
The Leonardo AW169 is a brand-new medium-sized helicopter that flew for the first time in 2012. It is equipped with two powerful Pratt & Whitney engines as well as the latest in avionics and flight safety features. In addition, it has a large and spacious cabin with large windows and a functional EMS interior, as well as a low floor to allow smooth patient transfer. The model is currently used in a wide range of operations worldwide, including EMS and rescue services, oil and gas, wind farm support, offshore pilot transfers, etc.
Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance operates the EMS helicopters at six of nine bases in Sweden, as well as three of seven bases in Finland. In Sweden, the company has helicopters in Gällivare, Lycksele, Östersund, Uppsala, Stockholm and Visby, and from June also in Gothenburg. In Finland, the company has helicopters in Rovaniemi, Oulu and Kuopio.
In addition, the company has fixed-wing air ambulance aircraft in Luleå, Umeå, Arlanda and Landvetter, as well as offices in Östersund-Frösön, Stockholm-Arlanda and in Luleå. The Swedish airplane fleet is presently undergoing an extensive renewal process.
BSAA has recently been awarded the Norwegian air ambulance contract, which means that the company is currently setting up a Norwegian head office in Tromsø, placing a flight training simulator in Oslo, as well as establishing seven aircraft bases around Norway.
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