Airbus Helicopters has teamed up with the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation to develop the future of medical missions in Norway using electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The partnership will focus on measuring the added value of eVTOL aircraft for various medical use cases and integrating the operational requirements into the configuration of Airbus’ eVTOL. The aim is to reduce emergency response time for different types of air medical missions and improve patient outcomes and the overall performance of the Norwegian Emergency Medical Services system.
The Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation and Airbus Helicopters will work together to elaborate a comprehensive roadmap for complementing existing assets, such as conventional helicopters, with eVTOLs when the technology enters into service. This long-term strategic approach could be expanded beyond the national healthcare system through collaboration with other countries to optimize operations in the region.
According to Prof. Hans-Morten Lossius, Secretary General of the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, complementarity is a key driver in this endeavor. Helicopters remain essential to perform EMS missions, while eVTOLs can bring additional capabilities to support first responders by transporting medical specialists to accident scenes or organs from one medical site to another.
Balkiz Sarihan, Head of Urban Air Mobility at Airbus, said that the company is looking forward to working with the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation as a strategic partner to develop the exact missions where eVTOL’s capabilities would contribute to protecting citizens and making sure they can access effective healthcare in Norway.
The first step toward the creation of a medical eVTOL ecosystem will be the evaluation of the efficiency of the current emergency medical system in Norway, followed by the simulation of different air medical services scenarios integrating advanced air mobility assets. To develop the right concepts of operations for these complementary air medical missions, Airbus Helicopters and the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation will drive the definition of the foundational elements of the eVTOL ecosystem in the country, including infrastructure, traffic management, and energy sourcing and distribution.
The Norwegian Air Ambulance is Norway’s national Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operator, with more than 40 years of experience in emergency medical response. It supports pre-hospital care across the country by delivering air ambulance services to provide patients with advanced medical solutions through state-of-the-art aircraft configurations and equipment. The operator currently operates a mixed fleet of H135 and H145 helicopters.