With its 14 helicopter bases spread throughout Switzerland, Rega provides primary medical assistance by air around the clock for the Swiss population. To achieve this, the reliability of its aircraft is a decisive factor for Rega. For this reason, as from 2024, the Da Vinci helicopters purchased in 2009, which have more than proven themselves in practice, will be replaced by the state-of-the-art, high-performance H145 with a five-blade main rotor. The new rescue helicopters will reduce the volume and cost of maintenance work and continue to uphold the excellent availability rate of the fleet. The decision in favour of the H145 means that Rega has now opted for a single-type helicopter fleet. “With this decision, we are ensuring that in the next 15 years, too, Rega can continue to provide medical assistance by air to its patients professionally and reliably,” says Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler.
Powerful, spacious and ultraprecise – for the benefit of the patients
The new H145 is a technically sophisticated, extremely powerful helicopter, which is ideally suited to missions in high mountain regions not least due its five-blade rotor. In addition, it features a spacious cabin with sufficient room for medical equipment as well as medical interventions, which is particularly important on transfer flights for intensive care patients. The manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters, has also designed a navigation and avionics system specially for Rega, which in future will allow instrument flight procedures to be performed in narrow valleys or challenging terrain even in the poorest of visibility – something that will benefit both patients and crews.
A single helicopter type for all Rega’s operational bases
By creating a single-type fleet, all Rega helicopter bases will operate the same helicopter type in future. This simplifies servicing and maintenance, and also saves money in terms of the procurement and management of spare parts. Furthermore, it reduces crew training time and expenditure and allows synergies to be better utilised.
Investments of CHF 200 million
The signing of this purchase agreement marks the conclusion of a rigorous evaluation process. Rega is investing a total of over CHF 200 million in the modernisation and expansion of its helicopter fleet. This amount is provided for in Rega’s long-term financial planning and the organisation’s healthy financial position means that this project can be funded without outside capital. Included in the figure are the costs of medical equipment, training and spare parts. The AW109SP Da Vinci helicopters that have been retired from service, together with the four-bladed Airbus H145, will be sold.