A history lesson
Sarpa has been operating since 1980, with wide experience in the operation and administration of fixed-wing and rotary-wing systems, with national and international coverage in South America, Central America, North America and the Caribbean.
Since its launch, we have offered our services to well recognized and important companies such as: Estrella Petrolera, Saxon Services, the Colombian Police, Petroworks, Wilson Workover, Kerui Group, Ecopetrol, Emerald Energy, the Colombian Army, Wood Group, Independence Drilling, Weatherford, Schlumberger Surenco, Aviatur and Easyfly, among others.
More than three decades in the aviation sector in Colombia and the Americas has allowed us to evolve from aircraft with capacity for19 passengers to being the first Colombian charter company to offer an aircraft with the capacity to transport 30 and 50 passengers, creating representative benefits in comfort, operational efficiency and economy for our customers. In 2003, Sarpa became the first formal air ambulance system in Colombia, playing a key part in contributing to the accessibility of the health system in remote areas – as well as growth in the export of medical services – and generating for the first time opportunities for air transportation of critical patients within the country.
Bases, fleet and equipment
- We offer a 24/7 call center department, with year-round operations, from our bases in Medellin and Bogotá. We operate a total fleet of 10 aircraft, with the following specifications:
- Jetstream 32EP: British fabrication, twin-engine turboprop, with capacity for 19 passengers or double medical stretcher transport.
- Embraer 120ER: Brazilian fabrication, twin-engine turboprop, with capacity for 30 passengers.
- Learjet 45XR: Canadian fabrication, twin-engine jet, with capacity of double medical stretcher transport.
- Embraer ERJ 145: Brazilian fabrication, twin-engine jet, with capacity for 50 passengers.
Colombian regulations only allow one aircraft to operate under one specific modality; the registration number is either for commercial or charter flights or specifically for air ambulance missions. Both types of aircraft that operate as air ambulances (Jetstream 32 and Learjet 45) are configured as intensive care units. The equipment used onboard includes, but is not limited to: Federal Aviation Administration-approved stretchers; cardiac monitors; external pacemakers; defibrillators; portable transport ventilators; intubation kits; blood pressure cuffs; infusion pumps; portable suction units; infusion pumps; emergency cardiac drugs; and incubators.
For our missions, we provide a medical crew of three specialized personnel, according to the patient’s pathology (urgent care physician, anesthesiologist, neonatologist, pediatrician, professional nurse, respiratory therapist).
As mentioned above, all our aircraft can be configured as intensive care units; therefore, we have the medical capacity to attend any type of mission.
We have mainly flown the following types of transport throughout our years of experience: cardiology, neurology/surgery, burns, psychiatry, obstetric, pediatrics, neonates, trauma, pulmonary and respiratory, and patients with isolates.
So far this year, we have completed 65 missions; since 2003, we have flown over 10,000.
After working within the Caribbean region on medical charters for about three years, Sarpa observed an existing deficit of connectivity in the Caribbean and Central American region. Therefore, in 2019 we developed a commercial model to fill these connectivity gaps and came up with the idea of becoming a commercial airline. In October 2019, we welcomed our Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft to our fleet, which brought us closer to our main goal. Throughout this year, we have been working closely with the Colombian Aeronautical Authorities on the certification process for the commercial airline. The first route to operate will be a direct flight from Medellín to Curacao, and from then we will start expanding to other international routes, as well as expanding connectivity within Colombia.
In parallel, our organisation is working on strengthening its air ambulance fleet; we have started the process of purchasing and incorporating an additional Learjet 45XR in order to offer more coverage and opportunities to our international clients.
Sarpa is a company with vision and commitment to the future, which understands that quality is achieved every day with hard work and the capacity to be surprised, to learn and to innovate.
Above all, we understand that this is a service with soul, of people and for people. We look to offer the best quality service without sacrificing the warmth and comfort for our patients and clients.