The first H135 helicopter in the UK, acquired and operated by Bond Air Services on behalf of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, is about to enter service in the Thames Valley region. The public launch of the aircraft, to take place in Oxfordshire on Monday 12th October, will see the start of the H135’s first operations in the UK, in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) role.
Initially delivered to Bond Air Services in August 2015 for the fitting of an Aerolite EMS interior and completion, the H135 will replace Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s current EC135T2, in service since 2008. Replacing this aircraft with an H135 is a testament to Thames Valley Air Ambulance’s satisfaction and confidence in the performance and capability of this family of aircraft.
Mark McGeown, CEO Thames Valley Air Ambulance said, “We are looking forward to bringing it into service as our next generation EMS aircraft. The improved performance, increased payload and better fuel economy of the Airbus H135 helicopter, combined with NVIS capabilities, will enable our crews to take the major step into night HEMS operations. This is key to the future development of our air ambulance service”
Colin James, UK Managing Director Airbus Helicopters, said “The H135 is the latest evolution of Airbus Helicopters’ most successful light, twin-engine helicopter. It has been the backbone of British police and EMS operations for the last decade and the H135 provides the improved capability for it to continue in this role for the decade to come”.
The commitment to the new H135 helicopter, a decision not lightly made by a charity, comes as a result of the additional capabilities the helicopter brings, including night flights, advanced avionics, further reduced noise footprint and increased payload. Furthermore, the light maintenance requirements, coupled with high reliability ensure the H135 has the lowest direct operating costs in its class.