Norway – New EMS base planned at Harstad

Norway – New EMS base planned at Harstad

7-Jun-2019 Source: Luft Ambulanse

It will be too expensive to build a temporary ambulance helicopter base at Trøsen in Skånland as planned. The air ambulance service HF therefore wants to rent premises at Heli-Team AS in Harstad instead. Temporary base will house crew and helicopter until a new permanent base for Sør-Toms and northern Nordland is in place in two to three years.

Air ambulance service HF, in collaboration with Helse Nord RHF, has started an investigation that should suggest where permanent ambulance helicopter base for South-Troms and northern Nordland should be placed. In the original decision, a permanent base should be built inside Harstad / Narvik airport, Evenes. Eventually, it turned out that Avinor had no suitable plot to offer. In addition, the Armed Forces even need the local air ambulance service now leases and uses as a base inside airports. As of August 15 this year, the service to a temporary solution until a permanent ambulance helicopter base has been built elsewhere in the region.

The comfort was too expensive

Since last autumn, the Luftambulansjenesten HF has worked purposefully to establish a temporary ambulance helicopter base on Trøsen in Skånland just north of today’s base at Evenes. Trøsen was our first choice because such a short move would hardly affect the incorporated experience with time spent, flight routes, routines and interaction patterns with other parts of the health service. Together with Skånland municipality, Avinor, the Civil Aviation Authority, the University Hospital of Northern Norway, the Nordland Hospital and Norsk Luftambulanse AS, we have put a lot of time and effort into achieving this.

But the interest from the building and construction industry turned out to be low. Only one player for each of our three tender competitions, foundation work and landing site, entry and lease of hangar and entry and rental of housing barracks, enter price quotes. Without real competition in any part of the project, the price for the base was more than twice as expensive as expected.

Want to rent in Harstad

For the sake of other patient offers, Helse Nord RHF and the Air Ambulance Service HF need a solution that costs less. The air ambulance service HF has therefore started talks with the private helicopter company Heli-Team AS with a view to renting base facilities from them. Their base is located on the east side of Harstad town, approx. Ten minutes flight time just north of Trøsen. From medical and operative teams, the location is not considered optimal, but still as an acceptable solution for a limited time period of a maximum of three years.

Heli-Team AS has an approved and well-established landing site with a license for a sufficient number of aircraft movements to allow the ambulance helicopter to operate there without a major approval process. If the air ambulance service HF and Heli-Team AS agree on an agreement, the temporary ambulance helicopter base will be added to Harstad during the summer.

We apologize and thank you for your efforts

The air ambulance service HF understands that our joint decision that is economically motivated both creates disappointment and frustration. We and our project group would like to thank everyone who has worked hard and purposefully to realize Trøsen as a temporary base for the ambulance helicopter in the region. This applies in particular to Skånland municipality and Skånland and the surrounding sports association which have met us in a very constructive way. We will also praise the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority, Avinor and our operator NLA AS who have accelerated and prioritized this project in order to get all approvals for Trøsen in place as quickly as possible.

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