UT Health East Texas welcomes final rebranded EC135

Metro Aviation has announced the delivery of a new Airbus EC135 aircraft for the UT Health East Texas Air 1 air medical program. This aircraft, added to the existing fleet of three recently rebranded aircraft, has also been upgraded with SPIFR certifications. Headquartered in Tyler, Texas, the program will soon boast six precision GPS procedures at various hospitals and bases.

UT Health East Texas Air 1 now has three EC135s with IFR capabilities. Metro Photo

“We are excited we have the opportunity to replace our first VFR EC135 P1 and put it into a backup role,” said Michael Lawyer, director/chief flight nurse at UT Health East Texas Air 1. “This will give us three EC135s with IFR capabilities.”

The GPS procedures, slated to be certified by the end of August 2020, will complement the latest aircraft features, which include a state-of-the-art medical configuration tailored to the needs of the Air 1 service area. Metro also outfitted the helicopter with mission-critical systems like Outerlink’s IRIS platform, providing satellite tracking, push-to-talk radio, flight data monitoring and voice and, video recording.


“This new aircraft will have WAAS and allow us to reach some of our patients during certain weather days that we would not have been able reach before,” said Lawyer. “This brings added important safety features to our operations and provides a much-needed advantage to help us provide the best service and outcomes to our patients that we serve in the northeast Texas area.”

UT Health East Texas Air 1 is part of the largest rural not-for-profit ambulance service in Texas and was the second program Metro ever partnered with, beginning back in 1985.

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