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Aerospace firm, hospital to offer wider medevac services

Aerospace firm, hospital to offer wider medevac services

Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Co. (AIDC) and Tungs' Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital signed a contract Thursday to provide medical emergency air transportation services for Taiwanese abroad. Under the contract, AIDC will fly Taiwanese patients back home on its Astra SPX planes, which have been configured as air ambulances, while MetroHarbor hospital will provide emergency staff and care en route to the patient's hospital of choice. The Astra aircraft have a range of 2,500 nautical miles, which is about the distance between Taipei and the Western China city of Chengdu. The range of the aircraft will also allow non-stop flights between Taipei and areas as far away as Ulan Bator, Hokkaido, Jarkata, and Guam. AIDC in May obtained a permit from the Civil Aeronautics Administration to operate emergency medical assistance flights and has since airlifted patients from Macau, Shanghai and Xi'an. Its new cooperative service is expected to be cheaper, quicker and wider than the existing ones offered by Sunrise Airlines and Executive Aviation Taiwan Corp. in collaboration with MetroHarbor hospital. The two planes operated by Sunrise Airlines and Executive Aviation have a range of only 1,200 nautical miles, which means they can fly non-stop to coastal China cities such as Shanghai, but not to Beijing or Tianjin in the north of the country, according to Lu Li-hua, head of the hospital's emergency center who is also in charge of the overseas emergency medical assistance project. Attempts to reach places further away will require refueling stops, which will add to the cost by about NT$100,000 (US$3338.9) for each trip and take longer to reach a hospital, Lu told CNA. The medevac contract was signed by Chang Tzu-ming, head of the Taichung hospital, and AIDC President Butch Hsu on the opening day of the 2013 Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition, which will run through Sunday. (By Lin Meng-ju and Scully Hsiao)


Updated : 2021-06-24 05:31 GMT+08:00