The Canadian Government will donate CA$65 million to non-profit air ambulance service Shock Trauma Air Rescue Socitety (STARS) to purchase H145 helicopters to renew its ageing BK117 fleet.
The operator first announced its plan to renew its fleet of BK117s in June 2018, as production on this aircraft ceased in 2004 and is increasingly costly to maintain. STARS also operates and maintains a fleet of AW139 helicopters. It operates nine helicopters across its six bases in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and each helicopter at these bases costs approximately $13 million.
STARS President and CEO Andrea Robertson said: “This commitment by the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister, Ralph Goodale, and the Government of Canada is an investment in the future of Western Canadians, enabling STARS to be there to fight for the lives of patients in need for generations to come.”
“We are incredibly grateful that the Government of Canada has recognised the role STARS plays in ensuring the health and safety of Western Canadians,” said Doug Ramsay, Co-Chair of the STARS volunteer board of directors and Vice-Chair and Founder of Calfrac Well Services. “This is a historic announcement for STARS and for our fleet renewal process. It’s exceptional news for our patients.”