Airbus Helicopters has announced a strategic partnership with the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation to develop CityAirbus NextGen’s future missions for medical services in Norway.
To this end, the two parties will jointly measure the added value of electric vertical take-off, and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for a selection of medical services use cases across the country to integrate the operational requirements right into the configuration of Airbus’ eVTOL.
Through their partnership, Airbus Helicopters and the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation will look for how eVTOL aircraft could reduce emergency response time for air medical services in Norway and improve patient overcome. The two sides will create a comprehensive roadmap to achieve these objectives for specific scenarios and to improve the overall performance of the Norwegian Emergency Medical Services system.
This approach could be further expanded in the region through collaboration with other countries to optimize operations beyond the national healthcare system.
Aviation expertise across the board Airbus brings “is a major asset to help us combine different aircraft for medical services,” said Prof. Hans-Morten Lossius, Secretary General of the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation.
“Complementarity is a key driver in this endeavor: helicopters remain essential to perform EMS 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,” he explained.
The Norwegian Air Ambulance, Norway’s national Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operator, utilizes a mixed fleet of Airbus H135 and H145.
The first step toward creating a medical eVTOL ecosystem, Airbus says, will be the evaluation of the efficiency of the country’s existing emergency medical system, to then simulate different air medical services scenarios, integrating advanced air mobility assets.
“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,” said Balkiz Sarihan, Head of Urban Air Mobility at Airbus. “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.”