Jozsef Papp The Augusta Chronicle
Augusta Regional Airport to serve as base for new AU Health medical helicopter program
March 4, 2021
  • Share
  • Augusta Regional Airport will serve as the base for Augusta University Health’s new AirCare program.

    The program is a partnership between AU Health and Metro Aviation to provide rapid transport with a dedicated, highly skilled clinical crew that will be available for scene response and interfacility transport to the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center.

    According to AU, the program will be staffed by AU Health clinicians and Metro Aviation pilots and technicians.

    The agreement between the airport and AU Health will include the construction of an 11,000 square foot hangar, helicopter pad and rotary operations. The airport expects the project to bring several jobs to the area with potential for future expansion.

    “We are extremely excited about this relationship for multiple reasons.” Herbert Judon Jr., Augusta Regional Airport’s executive director, said in a release. “This development further expands the airport’s aeronautical footprint as well as diversifies our operations. Additionally, as our local flagship medical center, the partnership between Augusta University Health and Augusta Regional Airport represents a strong marriage between two of the region’s major service delivery organizations and economic engines.”

    The helicopter, EC145 C2e, was selected for the program. The aircraft provides range, speed and high level of care in flight.

    The program is the area’s only hospital-based air transport program and it is expected to ensure more Georgia residents have access to lifesaving specialty care and rapid transport. The program is expected to improve access to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia for children and infants statewide.

    “Our Children’s Hospital of Georgia transport teams have always provided a high level of expert care, but this helicopter will allow us to arrive and transport the patient more quickly. This can make a huge difference in outcomes,” Laura Brower, Chief Nursing Officer for AU Health, said in a release.