After a construction phase of over a year, Luxembourg Air Rescue (LAR) has moved into new premises at Findel Airport. On 20 April, staff and guests celebrated the official opening of the new facility in the presence of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. The newly constructed premises comprise three hangars for the LAR aircraft fleet, as well as office space that includes a state-of-the-art control centre and innovative medical training facilities.
René Closter, president and CEO of LAR, said the new building establishes the ideal basis for air rescue services in Luxembourg: “The new building has been planned by our staff for our staff. It constitutes in many ways a significant progress for our [life-saving] saving mission. The infrastructure, and thereby working conditions, have been optimised for our staff in such decisive ways that they are now even better able to fulfil their mission of saving people in emergency situations.”
One improvement LAR highlighted is that as a certified MDI Helicopters Service Centre, it can now carry out all helicopter repair and maintenance services; previously major maintenance tasks were carried out abroad. An additional advantage is that all LAR staff are now located under one roof instead of being located at two separate sites.
The bill for the new central headquarters came to €12 million, said LAR, representing the biggest single investment in the organisation’s history. Except for financial support amounting to €680,000 granted by the Ministry of Economy, the costs of the building were entirely financed by LAR and its members via a 20-year bank loan.
In order to be able to construct this building, LAR negotiated a 30-year rental agreement for the site with airport operator Lux-Airport. The new building also functions as the ‘advanced medical post’ – such a facility is mandatory for international airports in order to guarantee the treatment of mass-casualties in the event of a disaster, noted LAR. To this effect, around 100 emergency medical beds, including the necessary medical equipment, are stored in the LAR facilities and are ready to be deployed within 20 minutes in case of an emergency.
“We are very pleased that with our new building, we will also be able to contribute to the security at Findel Airport. Considering the present worldwide geopolitical situation, these measures are more important than ever,” said Closter.
LAR first began working 28 years ago using a caravan and a tent on the premises of Luxembourg Airport. Since then the office space hardly changed, although employees have enjoyed the relative luxury of working from containers, while the aircraft fleet was parked in tents and unheated hangars. Medical equipment had to be unloaded from the aircraft each evening to protect it from changing weather conditions.