site.btaFirst HEMS Aircraft Ready to Arrive from Italy to Bulgaria on January 15
Emerging from a meeting of Parliament’s Transport and Communications Committee on Thursday, Transport Minister Georgi Gvozdeikov said that the first of the six Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) aircraft Bulgaria will purchase has rolled out of the assembly line. He added that the helicopter will arrive from Italy on January 15 after it passes all necessary tests.
Gvozdeikov briefed the MPs at the meeting on Bulgaria's progress in building the air ambulance system. He added that a Bulgarian group will leave for Italy between December 12 and 15 to receive the aircraft.
The Minister said that a group of 112-emergency-system officers is being trained in Italy by Italian experts. He added that the documentation for a public procurement procedure for the construction of the six operational bases has been prepared.
“Our Italian colleagues from the manufacturing plant have devised a special programme for Bulgaria where the pilots will start their training,” Gvozdeikov said. He added that there will be a selection process for pilots, who may or may not have the relevant pilot license. The training is expected to last between one-and-a-half and two years. “There is a huge shortage of pilots, and we cannot deal with this problem alone. By 2026, when the last helicopter is to be delivered, they will be able to train at least 20 pilots, which will be enough for us,” the Minister said.