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The European Defence Agency (EDA) has just concluded multiple framework contracts with Global Helicopter Service GMBH, Elitaliana S.R.L. and Starlite Aviation Operations Ltd. for the provision of fixed- and rotary-wing medical evacuation services in the context of EDA’s Support of Operations. The contracts run until January 2023 for a maximum value of €120 million (US$135 million).
In national and multinational operations, the provision of in-theater aeromedical evacuation services is often a challenge. In many cases, capabilities are not available from Member States and outsourcing is necessary to provide air medical evacuation services through private companies. Experience shows that contracting on the spot under time pressure is mostly not a cost-effective solution. Having in place ready-to-use arrangements is very beneficial to ensure immediate availability of services, whilst equally reducing the administrative burden and achieving economies of scale.
The overall purpose of the Airmedevac project is to efficiently and cost effectively provide contributing members with an option to order ready-to-use commercially available in-theater aeromedical evacuation services through EDA. The four contributing members (CM) today are: Austria, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. The project is open to all EDA participating Member States, EU entities as well as third states having an administrative arrangement with EDA.
The contributing members have mandated EDA through a Project Arrangement (PA) to manage the project including the negotiation of Multiple Framework Contracts (FWCs) and service requests on their behalf. The contracts concluded today are the result of a close cooperation dating back to 2016 between EDA, the EU Military Staff and the contributing members to define the requirements and evaluate the services required.
EDA has been in the lead of the process up to the conclusion of the contract and will continue to be fully responsible for its management throughout the implementation.
The contractors offer services to evacuate patients from the point of injury to the initial medical treatment facility (Forward Airmedevac) or to transfer them between in-theater medical treatment facilities (Tactical Airmedevac) in the context of national and/or international defense and/or security operations. Services include access to a wide range of rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft in Europe and Africa to meet a variety of operational needs, both abroad and at home.
The project constitutes an efficient pay-per-use solution that does not impose any binding financial commitments beyond services requested. It is quick and flexible and will reduce the administrative burden for members who do not have to run their own bidding processes since they can rely on the EDA framework contracts.