The Eurocopter EC135 helicopter will perform medical airlift duties throughout Turkey – a fleet of 17 helicopters will be flown by the Turkish Aeronautical Association’s THK Gökçen Aviation commercial arm, marking the latest major contract win for this twin-engine rotorcraft in the international emergency medical services (EMS) marketplace.
Operations are to begin this August with an initial five EC135 helicopters,followed by a build-up to the full complement of 17 rotary-wing aircraft. The EC135 was selected for these life-critical services by the team of THK Gökçen Aviation and Saran Holding – which won a five-year air ambulance service tender from the Turkish Ministry of Health.
“Eurocopter is committed to supporting Turkey in emergency medical services, which constitute one of the most critical uses of a helicopter,” said Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations.
“Therefore, we are proud to be working with THK Gökçen Aviation in demonstrating the direct benefit of our helicopters to the Turkish population.”
Osman Yildirim, President of THK added: “We are very happy to realize a contract with Eurocopter and to enhance our strategic and fruitful cooperation in the Turkish market.”
Turkey’s choice further underscores Eurocopter’s competitiveness in a growing market where the EC135 already is the helicopter of reference in emergency medical services worldwide. Approximately 25 percent of all EMS helicopter operations are performed with the EC135. To date, some 500 of these rotorcraft have been delivered in EMS configurations out of the total 1,095 EC135s in service around the world.
The EC135 combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with excellent performance, range and payload capacity – along with low-noise operations. The helicopter’s oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable fast loading/unloading of patients – with additional safety during ground operations ensured by Eurocopter’s shrouded Fenestron® tail rotor.