Monroe County Florida to order three AW139s

Monroe County Florida to order three AW139s

4-Apr-2023 Source:

Monroe County in Florida recently held a meeting of its Board of County Commissioners, at which the Board authorised the acquisition of three new helicopters.  Subject to finalising terms with  AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation, the County Administrator was authorised to sign for the lease and purchase of three Leonardo helicopters in an amount not to exceed $52 million.  The helicopters will be used for the County’s Trauma Star Air Ambulance Program, and are expected to be AW139s.

Trauma Star currently operates three Sikorsky S76C+ helicopters.  Two of these were acquired from Arkansas Children’s Hospital in September 2016 and September 2017 as the latter upgraded to brand new S76Ds.  The third was acquired from Norrlandsflyg in Sweden in September 2018.  The aircraft are all 2001/2 built airframes, and the impetus for replacement was cited in local media as these airframes being close to the end of their useful 25 year life.  In contrast, helicopter market intelligence specialists Parapex Media recently reported at the Helicopter Investor conference that the S76C+ is now “on the up” with demand increasing leading to firmer values.

The Monroe County Commission was asked at their 22nd March meeting for early approval “subject to” the documentation being finalised by the County Attorney.  This allowed production line places to be secured.

Originally, the Sheriff was going to be the contracting party for the County but the County Commission will the contracting party in order to take advantage of a financing opportunity that is far more advantageous to County taxpayers.

All three were already fitted out with EMS interiors.  One is based at the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport and two fly from the Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island.

Trauma Star is provided free to residents and property owners of Monroe County and is a joint effort of Monroe County Fire Rescue and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

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