Story by Kat Skeldon, MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — HealthNet Aeromedical Services is announcing the $35.5 million investment of four new Airbus H135 helicopters to join its fleet.

The new helicopters will start arriving at the beginning of November and will replace the current helicopters at Base 2 in Millwood, Base 6 in Buckhannon, Base 9 in Lewisburg, and Base 10 in Moundsville.

HealthNet President and CEO Clinton Burley says the mission at HealthNet is to provide the state with the highest-quality air medical services available, and part of the way they achieve this is through obtaining new helicopters.

“These helicopters will contain the latest technology available for safety and clinical operations, and they’re going to make a difference throughout our market,” said Burley.

Clinton Burley

He said HealthNet operates a total of eleven helicopters from nine different bases. Burley said they are always working to replace their fleet on a consistent basis to keep it fresh and up-to-date, and the four new ones will replace some that were aging out of their system.

The investment of the new helicopters was unveiled during the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California.

Burley said he has been with HealthNet since its inception in 1986, and he said to be present on the international stage for that announcement was a surreal moment.

“It really exemplifies the commitment that HealthNet’s three-owner health systems have about doing this business safe and doing it well, and truly it was an honor to represent them,” he said.

Burley said the helicopters will feature the latest, state-of-the-art technology within the air medical service’s landscape today.

And, he said as this technology grows, they are able to grow with it.

“The new aircraft have a halo capacity of over 200 pounds heavier than the aircraft that they will replace,” Burley said. “That’s really important as sometimes we have geriatric patients, but it also allows us to carry more life-saving equipment.”

In addition, Burley said the cockpit panels on these new helicopters will have the latest technology available on an international-scale called a Helionix avionics system. He said this will enhance situational awareness and provide more advanced rear visibility.

“It really provides tremendous support to the aviator in terms of safety,” said Burley. “It is built in with multitudes of redundancy, and the whole idea is so that HealthNet can continue to maintain our perfect safety record.”

The delivery of the new helicopters is expected to continue into March 2025.