London, – The first H135 in the UK, acquired and operated by Bond Air Services on behalf of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, is imminently entering into service in the Thames Valley region. The public launch of the aircraft, to take place in Oxfordshire on Monday 12th October, will see the start of the H135’s first operations in the UK, in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) role.
Initially delivered to Bond Air Services in August 2015 for the fitting of an Aerolite EMS interior and completion, the H135 will replace Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s current EC135T2, in service since 2008. Replacing this aircraft with an H135 is a testament to Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s satisfaction and confidence in the performance and capability of this family of aircraft.
Mark McGeown, CEO Thames Valley Air Ambulance said, “We are looking forward to bringing it into service as our next generation EMS aircraft. The improved performance, increased payload and better fuel economy of the Airbus H135, combined with NVIS capabilities, will enable our crews to take the major step into night HEMS operations. This is key to the future development of our air ambulance service”
The commitment to the new helicopter, a decision not lightly made by a charity, comes as a result of the additional capabilities the H135 brings, including night flights, advanced avionics, further reduced noise footprint and increased payload. Furthermore, the light maintenance requirements, coupled with high reliability ensure the H135 has the lowest direct operating costs in its class.
Colin James, UK Managing Director Airbus Helicopters, said “The H135 is the latest evolution of Airbus Helicopters’ most successful light, twin-engine helicopter. It has been the backbone of British police and EMS operations for the last decade and the H135 provides the improved capability for it to continue in this role for the decade to come”.
About Airbus Helicopters in the UK
Airbus Helicopters has been present in the United Kingdom for 40 years and is the UK’s largest civil helicopter company with 440 aircraft operating in civil, military and emergency services roles. The company’s site at Oxford Airport is home to Britain’s Civil Helicopter Hub, while sites at Aberdeen, Belfast and Hawarden provide support to customers across the breadth of the British Isles.
About Airbus Helicopters
Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.