Helicopter emergency services specialist Avincis has joined forces with Airbus to help define future use cases and operational concepts for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles such as the airframer’s CityAirbus NextGen.

Detailing the agreement – formalised with the signature of a memorandum of understanding at the ILA Berlin air show on 5 June – John Boag, Avincis chief executive, said the firm wanted to be “at the leading edge” of technology.


Source: Airbus

Partnership was disclosed at ILA Berlin show

“It’s an awesome opportunity to be there at the beginning and help shape how it develops.

“We are looking forward to working together and coming up with new emergency services operations and procedures.”

Boag says possible “critical functions” that could be performed with eVTOL aircraft include the dropping of personnel or equipment, search and rescue, or surveillance missions. Their applicability for urban operations is particularly attractive, he adds.

Balkiz Sarihan, head of Airbus Urban Mobility, says such partnerships are key to ensuring eVTOL aircraft “deliver value-add services to the communities we serve”.

“Through this collaboration we will explore how eVTOLs can contribute to missions that save lives and protect communities – a shared goal among our two companies.”

Sarihan says partners are selected on the basis of what they can bring to the programme or their presence in specific geographies.

“Each partner operator contributes a new piece of knowledge and expertise,” she says.

Avincis is a major Airbus Helicopters customer, with bases in Italy, Portugal and Spain, and in the Nordic countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Airbus has previously signed a similar agreement with the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation to develop medical missions in Norway for the CityAirbus NextGen. However, she says there is no overlap between the two operations.

Airbus in March 2024 unveiled the first CityAirbus NextGen prototype at its facility in Donauworth in southern Germany. Sarihan says the company is now “deep into subsystem testing” in support of a first flight later this year.