Calgary, Canada-based air ambulance operator STARS has announced that it will begin refreshing its fleet with H145 helicopters in 2019.
The service currently operates eight legacy BK117 and three Leonardo AW139 helicopters from its bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg in western Canada. The first of the new aircraft is expected to be delivered to the service in 2019 and will be operated out of its base in Calgary. The fleet renewal will also streamline the operators fleet, with it ordering only nine helicopters to replace its current 11, which STARS says is due to the H145’s operational efficiencies.
"The bulk of our current fleet, the long-serving BK117, has been phased out of production, and these aircraft are becoming costlier to maintain," said STARS President and CEO Andrea Robertson. The decision to refresh the fleet was made after an independent review found that the operator needed a single-model helicopter fleet.
The helicopters will be delivered to the service over the next five years, STARS says.