The new helicopter, which would be based at the Fujita Health University Hospital in Toyoake City, would begin operations in the 2023 fiscal year (beginning 1 April). The hospital has been designated an Advanced Emergency and Critical Care Center, as well as a ‘core disaster base hospital’.
In addition to serving the population of Aichi, it will also coordinate with authorities in the neighboring Gifu and Mie Prefectures to offer additional support there.
The second helicopter will provide additional air ambulance support to the region, working alongside Aichi’s existing air ambulance, based at Aichi Medical University Hospital in Nagakute City. The new aircraft is also expected to be larger than the existing one, offering greater capacity and space for more advanced medical equipment.
The new helicopter will accommodate for the high level of demand for rapid medical transport in Aichi. According to a report by national broadcaster NHK, out of the 538 dispatch requests made to the current helicopter in Nagakute, approximately 10 per cent (53) were not responded to because of a lack of capacity.
Residents of Japan’s Tohoku region have been campaigning to allow their own air ambulance services to operate across prefectural borders.