Major Helicopter Orders Landed at EMS Conference
Helicopter EMS operators and OEMs announced several large orders for new aircraft at the opening of the Air Medical Transport Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., yesterday. Air Methods, the largest U.S. helicopter EMS company with a fleet of 320 rotorcraft, announced it is buying 15 new Bell 407 singles for delivery next year. Later in the day, Bell announced another deal with Air Medical Group Holdings, the parent of Air Evac Lifeteam, for 16 new 206L4 LongRanger IVs for delivery in 2012 and 2013. Air Evac currently operates a fleet of more than 100 medically equipped LongRangers, the world’s largest fleet of the type so equipped. American Eurocopter also announced several deals, one of which is a memorandum of understanding for a mixed fleet of up to 12 EC130s, EC135s and EC145s from Metro Aviation. Another deal includes the sale of an EC145 to the University of Mississippi’s AirCare program that will be operated by PHI. The program serves the Jackson and Meridian areas.