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GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – STARS Air Ambulance is seeking support to renew its aging helicopter fleet.

STARS President and CEO, Andrea Robertson, says they are using the same helicopter fleet since starting operations in 1985 and launched an independent assessment to start looking at renewing the fleet.

“We started STARS in 1985, and as it turns out, we’ve been flying the same aircraft for that entire period of time. We knew they were getting old, so we got some independent assessments done, which told us they are pretty much getting to be at end of life.”

According to Robertson, following the assessment, STARS made the decision to replace the entire fleet by 2022.

Robertson says the process of renewing the fleet will be a combination of government contributions, selling the old fleet, and starting a capital campaign. The target of the campaign is $4 million for the Grande Prairie base, with Shell Canada already donating $500,000.

Currently, STARS operates an Airbus BK117 helicopter which will be replaced by an Airbus H145 helicopter.

STARS is an organization funded by individual donors, service groups, corporate donors and government contributions which provides rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients across Western Canada.

For more information on STARS and to make a donation, you can visit stars.ca.

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