The first six pilots for the HEMS air medical emergency system left on Sunday for training in Italy, the press office of the Ministry of Transport and Communications said. Minister Georgi Gvozdeykov met with them before their departure. He stressed that the construction of the individual components of the system is going according to schedule and in January 2024 the pilots will board the first helicopter which will already be in Bulgaria by then.
“The helicopter already has a serial number, which means it is in the testing phase and will be ready by December 15,” explained Gvozdeikov. He added that the hospitals are currently working on the licensing of helipads, and the procedure for obtaining the relevant permit has been simplified. “All the lands necessary for the construction of the six operational bases have already been transferred to the Ministry of Health and this makes it possible to start the construction of the bases,” said Minister Gvozdeykov.
The Bulgarian pilots will be trained on the same type of helicopter as those that will be delivered to this country. In a few days, the first three engineers who will be responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft will leave for Italy as well. In the next few months, all 36 pilots and 14 engineers who will be part of the air medical emergency teams in Bulgariawill undergo comprehensive training.
That land for four of the six HEMS bases has already been secured. They are distributed in such a way that two helicopters will reach every point of the country at the same time.