GroupEAD Asia Pacific has signed an agreement with the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust (ARHT) to provide aeronautical design solutions based on satellite based procedures that will help improve helicopter access to remote areas across New Zealand during emergencies.
The Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to explore options for the provision of Part 173 design and maintenance solutions for the emergency medical services sector and New Zealand helicopter industry, based on RNAV (GNSS) satellite based procedures.
“As rescue helicopters around NZ are modernised, they will have equipment enabling them to fly GNSS procedures,” says GroupEAD Asia Pacific CEO Wayne Smith. “This will improve their access to remote areas and will mean they can reach locations in adverse weather conditions that they currently can’t get to. Some critical patients currently have to travel by road to reach emergency services – but with satellite based aeronautical procedures in place, emergency services helicopters across NZ will be in a better position to reach them,” Wayne says.
This partnership will also make the approaches more affordable and timely, as the ARHT have a dedicated aeronautical designer, Armin Egli, who will work with Group EAD on the procedures.
Armin is one of NZ’s most experienced rescue helicopter pilots. Previously the Training Manager for ARHT, he played an important role in developing IFR operations and NVG capability at the Trust. Armin also has experience as both a venison recovery and agricultural helicopter pilot. With his extensive experience, he will ensure the approach designs are well suited to emergency medical services operations.
ARHT CEO Greg Barrow says there are many isolated communities throughout New Zealand where the reliability of rescue helicopters is paramount. “In time, this initiative will make helicopter access to these communities in poor weather more achievable and give people greater confidence that when they need help a helicopter will come.”