Following a competitive tender exercise which commenced in October 2021, Air Ambulance NI is delighted to announce a 10-year partnership agreement with Sloane Helicopters Limited to provide two HEMS AW109 helicopters, pilots and aircraft maintenance for Northern Ireland’s Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). The new agreement will commence on the 17th of September 2022.
The charity is introducing an AW109S Grand as its primary aircraft and a AW109E Power as its dedicated back-up aircraft, both of which will be operated from its airbase outside Lisburn.
The AW109 is an excellent helicopter for HEMS operations and will benefit patients due to rapid start-up and shut-down times, together with a high cruise speed which means the HEMS team can reach patients more quickly. The AW109 aircraft have an excellent payload capability and patient access. This new chapter is a huge step forward for Air Ambulance NI and our partners the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
Ray Foran, Trustee at Air Ambulance NI said, “Following a competitive tendering exercise we are delighted to have selected Sloane Helicopters as our long-term aviation partner. Their comprehensive proposal offers the Charity the very best value for money, whilst introducing newer and more capable helicopters to the emergency medical service. We will continue to have our experienced pilots, a primary and secondary backup aircraft and maintenance capability at our operational base. It’s due to the continued support of the public and community right across the province that we have been able to enter into this long-term partnership, it’s impact will be felt immediately and be so meaningful for patients.”
Jeremy Awenat, Managing Director at Sloane Helicopters Ltd said “We are delighted to be working with Air Ambulance NI and introducing the very capable AW109 helicopters for the provision of this important lifesaving service.
This contract award further strengthens the AW109’s position in the UK HEMS market with marking the fourth AW109 Air Ambulance contract for Sloane, in addition to Derbyshire Leicestershire Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA), Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA), and Irish Community Air Ambulance (ICAA). Founded over 51 years ago by its current Chairman, David George, Sloane Helicopters has been supplying HEMS Aviation services for over 23 years, and have had a maintenance facility base in Enniskillen since 2006.