STARS Air Ambulance is working on replacing their aging fleet of helicopters.

President and CEO, Andrea Robertson says their current helicopter fleet's been in the air since 1985.

"You know we're into our 33rd year flying the BK117. But we're going to start having trouble finding parts. The experts are telling us the best model to have is a single platform, not a big surprise, but a single type of aircraft and we should do that long term."

stars over farmland june27 2018 001The BK117, which has been a workhorse for STARS since they started back in 1985 is being phased out as the model is no longer being made and parts are getting harder to find. Photo courtesy STARS Air Ambulance.

She says the decision was made to go with Airbus H145's for all their bases, which means buying five helicopters, at a price tag of $13 million each.

Robertson says they have a plan to get the replacements online as soon as possible.

"Obviously the sale of all our current fleet will buy us a couple of helicopters, but we can't sell them until we've got the new fleet in. We're working with government to see if they can help us out, and we will fundraise as well. Multiple things will have to go on, and it'll take some time to get there."

She says the first of the five they need will arrive next year, with others coming in as funding allows.

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