Airbus Helicopters mobilizes to keep customers flying in service of the COVID-19 crisis
As COVID-19 continues its spread around the globe, stressing healthcare systems and disrupting daily life and business operations, many of Airbus’ helicopter customers have found themselves on the front lines of their countries’ efforts to combat the virus, helping hospitals and governments provide air medical transport and other critical services.
Encompassing emergency medical services (EMS), para-public and military fleets, these customers need Airbus Helicopters now more than ever to keep business running so that they can continue to perform their life-saving missions. Airbus Helicopters has been doing everything it can to ensure that the availability rate of the different French SAMU aircraft, the helicopter emergency medical services who have been working tirelessly in the recent weeks, stays at almost 100 percent.
Adapting helicopter cabins to protect crews
Airbus Helicopters has mobilized its teams to inform operators of the new and existing solutions for separating the cockpit from the cabin.
“Many EMS operators and militaries are transporting COVID-19 patients while lacking the means to isolate the cockpit from the cabin to protect the crew,” says Stefan Bestle, EMS marketing manager at Airbus Helicopters. “But a solution exists for certain aircraft in the form of cabin cockpit isolation, which provides a barrier between the infected or possibly infected patients and the flight crews, thereby increasing the level of protection.”
The company has already identified and communicated options available in local markets for the H135/H145 as well as the AS332/H225 fleet. Additional solutions for AS365/H155/H175 are under final approval and will be included in the next days. Solutions for the intermediate single engine helicopters are currently under exploration. It has also communicated technical information concerning the ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems on Airbus helicopters. (Information Notice 3492-I-25 accessible via AirbusWorld or T.I.P.I.)
In addition, Airbus Helicopters has issued guidance about how to properly clean and disinfect helicopters, workspaces and tools that have been contaminated by COVID-19, including processes to be followed and disinfection material to be used. (Information Notice 3476-I-12 accessible via AirbusWorld or T.I.P.I.)
Armée de l’air, Sebastien Bozon – AFP, Frederick Florin – AFP, SAMU 21 – CHU Dijon Bourgogne