Speaking to journalists after the launch at the HAL airport here, Arun Sharma, managing director, Aviators Air Rescue Limited, the service provider, said necessary clearances have been sought from the Director General of Civil Aviation to operate air ambulances. The services are from one airport to another as company didn't get permission to land on site.
The air ambulance would help patients reach destinations faster besides helping transport organs, blood units, drugs or medical equipment, he explained. H130 helicopters are medically configured with emergency medical services, advanced life support medical equipment and a stretcher. The air ambulance will have a doctor and a paramedic. If the patient is minor, an attendant will be allowed to fly. The ambulance can support a patient for 90 to 180 minutes, said Sharma.
The service provider has tied up with several private hospitals in Bengaluru. Patients would be picked up from their homes or hospitals by road and taken to a nearby airport. From there, they would be flown to an airport closer to their chosen destination. "It is a subscription-based model. For an individual subscription, the cost would be Rs 9,000 a year while a family subscription would cost Rs 18,000. Once the subscription is availed of, the service can be used any number of times throughout the year. Individuals without subscription would have to pay Rs 1.75 lakh per hour."
The company has plans to launch similar services in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to begin with and later extend them to other states. To avail of the service one can call the emergency number 155350.