The air ambulance service will be fully operational and effective by the end of 2026, Transport Minister Georgi Gvozdeykov said on Thursday during a hearing in the parliamentary Transport Committee. He pointed out that its arrival was expected on December 15, as the helicopter was already in the testing phase.
The first operational base in Sofia with a perimeter of about 170 km is expected to be operational around January 15. The commissioning of the remaining operational bases will be connected to the schedule of the helicopters’ arrival, Gvozdeykov noted. He added that the second helicopter will arrive in late June 2024, the third in January 2025, the fourth in July, while the sixth will arrive by the middle of 2026.
On September 10, the first group of six pilots left for training in Italy to acquire the appropriate type to their licence. There is currently no pilot in Bulgaria who holds this type of licence. Three engineers will travel with them, the Transport Minister explained. He pointed out that the hospital authorities are working actively to get the respective flying sites licensed.
Gvozdeykov stated that currently the Health Ministry possesses all the land and the procedure for the construction of the six operational bases will be announced by mid-October.