Two Dutch EMS EC135s cleared for night rooftop operations

Two Dutch EMS EC135s cleared for night rooftop operations

13-Feb-2011 Source: HeliHub.com

Dutch aviation magazine Scramble has alerted HeliHub.com to the news that two air ambulance helicopters in their country will start true 24×7 operations from today, 14th February 2011.  THe bases at Amsterdam and Groningen will bring the night operations under ANWB up to four, adding to bases at Rotterdam and Nijmegen which already have this clearance.  ANWB – Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijders Bond (Dutch automobile association) operates a fleet of EUrocopter EC135 helicopters throughout Netherlands on EMS work.

This represents a U-turn on a previous decision. The medical helicopters at Rotterdam and Mijmegen have been operating acceptably as their approach paths are over clear areas.  In November 2010, the proposed night operations at Amsterdam and Groningen failed to get clearance as they are both rooftop operations, despite the helipads there being converted appropriately for night operations.

Further consultation followed, and on Friday Joop Atsma, the Dutch Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Environment, announced that clearance would be granted after all.

Guido van Woerkom, Chief Executive Officer of ANWB was delighted at the news.  Further crew training will now take place and it is expected that nigh ops at the two rooftop pads will begin in April.  Scramble also notes that callsign  “Lifeliner 1” is used at the University Medical Centre base in Amsterdam and “Lifeliner Europe 4” at the University Medical Centre in Groningen – and the two bases are commonly known by their callsigns.

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