Airbus Helicopters Canada has delivered a new twin-engine H145 to nonprofit air ambulance provider STARS as part of a fleet replacement initiative for nine new H145 aircraft. This helicopter marks the third delivery to the nonprofit air ambulance provider and is its first H145 to operate out of its Saskatoon base in Saskatchewan.
“We made the decision to shift to the H145 following independent assessments of the sustainability of our fleet, which advised us to move from two aircraft types to one,” said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson. “This third delivery brings us one step closer to making our fleet renewal program a reality. The new helicopters are an investment in our ability to serve the people of Western Canada for decades to come, and we can’t wait to put this H145 into service in Saskatchewan.”
STARS is a physician-led helicopter air ambulance organization that aims to provide critically ill and injured people the vital emergency medical care they need when they need it the most. STARS’ doctors, nurses, paramedics and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives through rapid and specialized emergency medical care and transportation. The organization has carried out more than 42,000 missions since it was founded in 1985.
In 2018, STARS launched an ambitious, multi-year plan to replace its aging fleet of helicopters, including the BK117. Following an extensive review of aircraft, it selected the H145 for its cutting-edge technology, advanced safety features and similarities to its predecessor, the BK117. The new H145 helicopters will ultimately operate out of a total of six bases across Western Canada.
“We are proud to deliver this third H145 to STARS in support of their extremely important lifesaving missions,” said Dwayne Charette, president of Airbus Helicopters Canada. “The H145 family of aircraft provides a proven and flexible platform for even the most specialized emergency medical services work, and we look forward to continuing to support STARS’ operations with the additional H145s on their way.”
Airbus’ H145 is a class-leader among light twin-engine helicopters. Its versatility, spacious cabin and rear-loading clamshell doors have made it the leading choice for air medical programs in Canada and worldwide.
Airbus is the leading provider of helicopters to North America, with a presence in Canada dating back 35 years. Currently, there are some 220 operators flying approximately 720 Airbus helicopters in Canada in key parapublic and civil roles such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, oil & gas, utility (mining, firefighting, powerline maintenance, search and rescue, forestry, environmental surveys) and transport (tour, corporate and private).