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Fleet reliability paramount at Norwegian Air Ambulance

“We are all depending on Gannet to know when checks at the line bases are due.” –Norwegian Air Ambulance on the Gannet maintenance software system, which underpins its operations.

Norsk Luftambulanse – Norwegian Air Ambulance – is a commercial operation, owned by the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, a not-for-profit company.

Norwegian Air Ambulance Helicopter is an airline operator, delivering services to the Norwegian and Danish governments. The Norwegian contract is with Air Ambulance Services of Norway.

Air Ambulance Services of Norway is responsible for all air ambulance (both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters) in Norway. The company is owned by the four regional health authorities (RHF) in Norway. Norsk Luftambulanse provides all rotary wing services.

For an emergency response organisation, the reliability of all its corporate systems is paramount. Certifying Technician at Norsk Luftambulanse, Johnny Svensson, was concerned at the complexity and backup support of the two Maintenance Information Systems (MIS) that were being used.

“We had two systems, but one was very fragile and if this went down then our flying could have gone down with it,”recalls Svensson.

“We looked at various systems but these were either too complicated or too big, and we also talked to other operators, including and the Swedish Maritime Administration before choosing Gannet.”

Norsk Luftambulanse operates a total of 25 helicopters in both Norway and Denmark, where it has the contract to run air ambulance services. The fleet comprises Airbus H135 and H145 and Leonardo AW139 and operates from 13 line bases in Norway and four in Denmark. The main technical base is at Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport.

The operation has a proud 40-plus-year history, dating from the pioneering enterprise of Jens Moe, a doctor, who started the service on a voluntary basis in 1979, staking his own home to acquire the first helicopter and assembling a band of volunteers.

The maintenance system is centralised, explains Svensson, and there are no line technicians, so maintenance staff travel out from Gardermoen. “We are all depending on Gannet to know when checks at the line bases are due,” he says. “It’s a case of planning where people are going to be, as much as anything.”

The organisation spent about a year fully commissioning Gannet and is delighted with the results. “Gannet has been not just good, but better than expected and we were pleased to be the launch customer for Gannet 3.”

Now the emphasis is on achieving a completely paperless work environment with electronic signatures now adopted and the focus shifting towards getting the Tech Log paperless too.

Speaking at October 2023’s Gannet Users’ Conference in Bucharest, Svensson added: “The Gannet conference is really down to earth and we talk together about real – it’s not just top-down like other conferences.”