US-based REACH Air Medical Services, in partnership with Outerlink Global Solutions and Metro Aviation, has announced that it will be launching its new Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), ‘exponentially’ expanding the organisation’s tracking, communication and overall safety practices. “An all-encompassing new technology, IRIS provides global coverage and will allow REACH to record significantly greater amounts of aircraft data,” said the company. “The data will be processed by onboard computers and filtered directly to the company’s Communications Center every 10 seconds. Outerlink adds customisable analytics software to the equipment, which will enable REACH to retain and evaluate their encrypted data. High-speed, uninterrupted connection and immediate air-to-ground, ground-to-air and air-to air communications will further improve the highly-respected safety standards REACH already employs with its fleet.”
Sean Russell, President of REACH Air Medical Services, commented: “We are pleased to partner with IRIS on this important component for our safety system. Our newly developed Operational Control Center will use this technology to track, monitor and communicate in real time with our aircraft, which will further support the safety of our crews and our patients. Also, as part of our Flight Operational Quality Assurance programme, the ability to trend mechanical and flight operation patterns will help us continually improve our performance.”
The technology used by IRISis similar to that used by the military, and is the first commercial helicopter solution to employ this type of situational awareness equipment, said REACH.
Fred Buttrell, president and CEO of Air Medical Group Holdings, REACH's parent company, was also enthusiastic: “We are excited to take this next step in our safety evolution by providing real-time integration to our company's Communications Center. The technology will let us know that our aircraft are healthy and that they are being flown safely.”