STARS currently operates a fleet comprised of Airbus Helicopters BK117 and AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters, which have been specially outfitted for helicopter EMS operations. At any given time, one helicopter is the primary, in-service aircraft at each of our bases and is available to respond to missions.
The helicopters in our fleet rotate in and out as back-up and support aircraft for when one of the primary helicopters is out of service for scheduled maintenance or repair. In addition, back-up aircraft play a significant role in training activities and community outreach events.
|Airbus Helicopters BK117||AgustaWestland AW139|
|Number in fleet||8||3|
|Entered STARS fleet||1985||2012|
|Speed||225 km/hr [120 knots]||278 km/hr [150 knots]|
|Detailed specifications||Detailed specifications|
Night Vision Goggles (NVG)
In 2003, STARS became the first civilian air carrier to use NVG technology in Canada. STARS continues to employ this cutting-edge technology to enable safer flights for our crews.
The mountains west of Calgary, for example, are 11,000 to 12,000 feet high and were previously inaccessible for emergency response by our teams due to night flight restrictions within mountainous terrain. Now, with NVGs, STARS has special permission to venture into this rugged territory on carefully pre-planned routes that are programmed into the aircraft GPS.
Flight crews at all six STARS bases are trained in the use of NVGs and employ this technology on a regular basis during night operations. Click here to view video of our night vision goggles in action.