Aeromedical company Pel-Air has announced that it will be acquiring two Pilatus PC-24 jets to operate ambulance services in NSW from late 2023.
The jets will replace two of five King Air B350s that will be used to service the NSW Ambulance contract from next year.
"Pel-Air is honoured by the confidence that the NSWA has placed on Pel-Air in being able to carry out successfully the procurement and modifications of these state-of-the-art jets and to run its aeromedical retrieval operations for the next 10 years with a mixed fleet for the first time in its history," said Pel-Air chairman John Sharp.
"All five new King Air B350 have been delivered in-country on time despite the challenges of COVID and we are well on track to start operations in six months’ time.”
The PC-24s will be modified in Stans, Switzerland and locally in NSW to prepare the aircraft for the critical care and complex missions in the areas of standard patient transfers, newborn and paediatric emergency, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation operations, intra-aortic balloon pump operations, bariatric patient operations, over-water aeromedical transfers and major incident responses.
Pel-Air believes the ability of the PC-24 to travel long distances at very high speed and land at narrow, unpaved runways will be critical in a state the size of NSW and could make the difference between life and death.
Pel-Air is the second Australian aeromedical organisation to take on the PC-24 after the Royal Flying Doctor Service started operations with the versatile jet in 2019.