Airbus Helicopters Japan (AHJ) has successfully handed over the first H145//BK117D-2 to Hiratagakuen, at a delivery ceremony held in AHJ Kobe facility today. The aircraft will enter into service for the emergency medical service (EMS) operations in Nagasaki prefecture in June 2018. This new delivery reinforces the partnership between Hiratagakuen and AHJ.
Hiratagakuen signed the contract for two H145//BK117D-2 helicopters at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition 2016. The second H145//BK117D-2 is scheduled for delivery in September 2018, expected to be similarly deployed for EMS missions. Hiratagakuen currently operates 14 H135 helicopters. The latest H135 was recently delivered in October 2017, dedicated for EMS missions in the country.
“We are delighted to introduce the first H145//BK117D-2 for EMS operations in Japan. The aircraft meets our needs perfectly, and it will replace the H135 currently in operation for the Nagasaki prefecture. As the EMS market continues to grow in Japan, we stay committed to supporting the safe deployment of Doctor Helicopters in the country,” said Isamu Hirata, President of Hiratagakuen.
“We are extremely honoured that Hiratagakuen becomes Japan’s first owner of the H145//BK117D-2. We thank Hiratagakuen for their vote of confidence in Airbus and our products. This milestone delivery opens up a new chapter for Airbus in Japan as we introduce the H145//BK117D-2 fleet into the country,” expressed Stephane Ginoux, Head of Japan for Airbus, at the delivery ceremony.
“We take joy in celebrating the successful delivery of the first H145//BK117D-2 in Japan, to Hiratagakuen, which will soon play a critical role in aeromedical and lifesaving missions in Nagasaki. A proven product known for its high level of flight safety and versatility, we are confident that the H145//BK117D-2 will perform its role in the aeromedical missions well, especially in challenging environments,” said Olivier Tillier, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Japan. “Safety remains our top priority at Airbus Helicopters Japan. We will continue to ensure an unwavering support to our customer’s operations, at the same time, play our part in upholding Japan’s sky safety.”
Japan has begun full-scale EMS support since 2001. Hiratagakuen has achieved 100,000 flights and was recognised by the Japanese Society for Aeromedical Services and the Emergency Medical Network for Helicopter and Hospital (HEM-Net) for its significant contribution to the EMS missions. The helicopter fleet will be dispatched to 11 prefectures by 2018.
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