Arkansas Children's Hospital Spends $28 million to Replace Helicopters

Last week, Arkansas Children’s Hospital signed a contract to buy two helicopters worth about $28 million.

The Sikorsky helicopters will be delivered in April 2014 and will replace the ones that are about 10 years old, said David Berry, ACH’s COO.

The new flying machines will feature twin engines and have medical equipment to deliver intensive care while in the air. They also will hold two patients or a patient and a passenger.

Berry said ACH will receive a little more than $3 million for the trade-in on its two helicopters or they might fetch a little more on the open market. Those helicopters have about 800 hours of service per year, which is considered a lot, Berry said. “We fly them hard, and it’s time to replace them,” he said.

ACH has saved its money for the purchase and also will use donations to pay for the helicopters, Berry said.

He said the helicopters it bought weren’t the most expensive available, but they weren’t the cheapest either.

“When it comes to safety, we make no apologies,” he said. “We buy what we need to deliver the safest care.”