Luxembourg, 16 February 2016 - 2015 will be remembered as a momentous year for European Air Ambulance. It was a twelve months packed with challenges and change for medical and flight crews, staff and administrators at the Luxembourg-based air ambulance operator.
EAA aircraft flew a total of 792 missions from 82 countries in 2015. The majority involved flights in Europe, but a significant number were also from Africa, Russia and the CIS, the latter facilitated by the crews’ permanent Russia visas. Indeed, EAA flew missions all over the world, including Middle East, India, Central and South-East Asia, going as far as South Korea and Japan, as well as most parts of the American continents.
599 flights involved the repatriation of patients for European Air Ambulance clients. But EAA also carried out 123 flights for organ transplant teams, 68 flights for the repatriation of Luxembourg Air Rescue members and, last but by no means least, two humanitarian missions. The latter included its first transport of a suspected Ebola patient for the European Commission. This was made possible thanks to the air ambulance operator reconfiguring two of its LearJet 45XRs to accommodate the Infectious Disease Unit required for the transport of infectious patients.
But as well as flying missions, European Air Ambulance was also busy moving to its new facilities on the airfield at Luxembourg Airport. Their new headquarters incorporates three hangars including a 1300m2 operations hangar, a 1500m2 maintenance hangar (equipped with a crane with a load capability of 3.5 tons) and a smaller 800m2 space for logistics. They can house up to five Learjet45 type planes and four helicopters.
In addition, a new 3500m2 headquarters building, which houses the control centre and crisis rooms, was inaugurated. This allows EAA crew and staff to work and relax in a spacious and modern facility equipped to the highest standards. The new building includes an aeromedical simulator, training rooms as well as a medical ward with two intensive care unit beds which can be used to take care of patients when doing a wing-to-wing transfer in Luxembourg.
The new facility is also the official advance medical post of the Luxembourg Airport, capable of being transformed swiftly into an infirmary with accommodation for up to 75 stretchers.
The move into the new facilities began towards the end of 2015 and will be completed during the second quarter of 2016.
Finally, towards the end of the year European Air Ambulance announced that it would become a branch of Luxembourg Air Ambulance S.A. following the departure in December 2014 of EAA founding member DRF Luftrettung from the company. This change was meant to streamlining the legal structure within the group and was a logical step since EAA management as well as all its operations have been carried out in Luxembourg by Luxembourg Air Ambulance, which has also supplied aircraft, medical equipment, supplies and crew.