ARCH Medical Services lands at St. Louis Regional Airport
IBJ Staff Report
The company that does business as ARCH Medical Services has established a maintenance facility and extra hangar space at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton.
Air Methods Corp.’s new location will support the safe, rapid air transport of critically ill and injured patients in and around Madison County.
“I’m very pleased. I’ve been trying to get them here on the field for the last eight years. They are here, but not exactly in the way I had imagined. It’s even better than I had imagined,” airport Director of Aviation David Miller said.
Miller believed Air Methods would place a helicopter on alert and respond to accidents from the airport, in much the way it now does from sites at hospitals in Alton, Granite City and Litchfield.
But maintenance is the main reason Air Methods made the move. Such maintenance falls into three categories, suspected problems, routine inspections and time-change items — meaning those parts scheduled for service.
Air Methods can bring in its copters for maintenance and store them as needed during several weather periods.
Air Methods maintains roughly 10 operational bases in Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri with overlapping service areas to ensure transportation is available around the clock.
The new facility will occupy 65,000 square feet of hangar space along the runway with a dedicated helicopter launch area. St. Louis Regional has a variety of safety and support services available to the helicopter company including two maintenance providers on the grounds and safety and firefighting services with FAR-139 certification that is equivalent to large commercial facilities like Lambert or O’Hare.
“We regularly provide facilities for law enforcement orientation, touch and go training for air crews from Scott Air Force Base, ham radio operator meet-ups, and regional natural disaster preparedness drills,” said Miller. “This is stepping it up a level, and we think Air Methods is a great addition to our community safety offerings.”
Air Methods is the nation’s leading provider of air medical transport with close to 4,000 employees and more than 450 aircraft at 300 bases in the continental United States.