The HEMS market has seen constant and significant growth over the last few years, be it in developing markets or mature ones. Growth has seen double digits, making it the fastest growing helicopter mission segment with even more opportunities ahead.
Ambulatory healthcare, national and local governments clearly recognize the needs and benefits of air ambulances and emergency air medical evacuations.
With that in mind, various barriers to entry have kept new entrants away. Operators have to invest in helicopters equipped with state of the art avionics allowing IFR all weather flying and on-board medical equipment; special infrastructures such as hospital helipads, weather stations and emergency communications must be put in place while crews must go through extensive mission training.
Two to three helicopters are needed to start an efficient HEMS operation. This allows fleet availability for at least one aircraft by accounting for maintenance downtime and mitigating risk for unscheduled events.
Those who manage to clear all these hurdles have a bright future ahead.
The high capital expenditures & expertise required to start an HEMS operation have kept smaller players and secondary markets out of the game for the most part. However, we are seeing some change in the market, with various companies teaming up to offer comprehensive packages to meet operator requirements for lower entry costs or simply fast and efficient scaling solutions.
An example of this is Rotortrade’s partnership with Leonardo Helicopters offering 3 pre-owned A109E Power in EMS configuration in an unbeatable package deal. These ships previously operated by a leading US HEMS operator are ready to start saving lives. The offer includes nose-to-tail Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) warranty coverage from Leonardo and Pratt & Whitney Canada made possible through proper OEM maintenance ensuring care free start of operations and combined with pilot and technician training.
These companies are working hand in hand to provide affordbale turnkey solutions with comprehensive support, thereby reducing barriers to entry. This package can be customized based on the client’s needs. Rotortrade is already working on similar packages with fully equipped EC145 helicopters also very popular for HEMS operations.
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