Airbus, Norwegian Air Ambulance sign partnership
Airbus has teamed up with the Norwegian Air Ambulance to support the development of its next-gen eVTOL
The partnership will focus on the potential use of the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL for the provision of air medical services in Norway, as both parties will ‘jointly measure the added value of eVTOLs for a selection of medical services use cases across the country’ under the arrangement.
The partners will subsequently build a ‘comprehensive roadmap towards reducing emergency response time through the researched scenarios’ – starting with an evaluation of the efficiency of Norway’s current emergency medical system – and Airbus will subsequently integrate any operational requirements observed into the CityAirbus NextGen’s configuration.
Airbus stated that: “In order to improve patient outcome and the overall performance of the Norwegian Emergency Medical Services system, the signatories will follow a long-term strategic approach to research the complementarity of existing assets, such as conventional helicopters, and eVTOLs when the technology enters into service.”
‘At the forefront of innovation’
The company also suggested that this approach could later be expanded through ‘collaboration with other countries’ to optimize the aircraft’s configuration for the international market.
“Airbus’ aviation expertise across the board is a major asset to help us combine different aircraft for medical services,” said Professor Hans-Morten Lossius, Secretary General of the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation.
“Complementarity is a key driver in this endeavour: helicopters remain essential to perform emergency medical service missions, whilst eVTOLs can bring additional capabilities to support first responders, for instance by transporting medical specialists to accident scenes or organs from one medical site to another.”
Balkiz Sarihan, Head of Urban Air Mobility at Airbus, added: “The Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation has always been at the forefront of medical innovation, most recently with dedicated research to integrate a CT scanner into a five-bladed H145 helicopter. We’re looking forward to working with the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation as a strategic partner to further develop the exact missions where our eVTOL’s capabilities would contribute to protecting citizens and making sure they can access effective healthcare in Norway.”
Norwegian Air Ambulance, the country’s national HEMS operator, currently operates a mixed fleet of H135s and H145s.