Airbus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airlift Global, a company backed by United Kingdom-based AUM Capital to foster helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and associated air medical services in India.
The MoU was signed at Wings India 2022, India’s flagship civil aviation event, by Head of Airbus Helicopters, Airbus India and South Asia, Sunny Guglani and Director, Airlift Global, Jayeis B Sonill in the presence of the British Deputy High Commissioner to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Dr Andrew Fleming and British First Secretary of Trade, Niall Ahern. Under the partnership, Airbus and Airlift Global will collaborate to develop a pilot project integrating air ambulance and medical emergency services, aimed at fostering improved healthcare accessibility and connectivity within both urban and rural environments of India.
Airbus and Airlift Global will identify key frameworks, roadmaps and viable investment instruments necessary to support and sustain credible, impactful emergency air medical services deployment in India. Both organisations will also conduct joint research on HEMS and air ambulance services and will encourage standardisation of operations of these services with established healthcare and related service providers. Both organisations will also form working groups of industry experts and professionals to drive awareness about HEMS.
“HEMS is a globally established best practice. There is an urgent need for this service in India. HEMS can save lives by ferrying patients and/or accident victims within the ‘Golden Hour’, help in organ transportation and taking healthcare to the remotest parts of our country,” said Sunny Guglani.
“A HEMS ecosystem needs to be built in India in partnership with government bodies, global service providers and helicopter OEMs. Our partnership with Airlift Global is a step in the direction of developing this critical segment of healthcare in India,” Gugalni added.
Jayeis B Sonill of Airlift Global commented, “We are pleased to be given the opportunity to assist in the development of HEMS operations in India and help serve patients in their most critical hour of need. Working alongside key partners, including state government agencies, medical service providers and other stakeholders, the sustainable establishment and equitable accessibility of this vital emergency medical air service will be paramount for modern India and better serve humanity. The UK has a long history of HEMS and we look forward to sharing our insights and expertise for the common societal good.”
About 70 percent of India’s population lives in rural areas with limited access to quick and quality healthcare. Helicopters can bridge this gap by not only transporting patients from rural areas to equipped hospitals but also transporting medical teams to remote locations. The Ministry of Road Transportation and Highways too has recognised the utility of helicopters in saving lives and has implemented HEMS in its plans for new expressways across the country.
Airbus helicopters have been working on various life-saving missions for more than five decades. The organisation offers a range of helicopters recognised for their suitability for HEMS operations, speed and reliability, modular cabins, excellent manoeuvrability, the ability to land anywhere and low operating costs.