Air Methods

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Air Methods, Corp.
Industry Air Services, Other
Founded 1980
Headquarters Dove Valley, Colorado
Key people
Aaron D. Todd, CEO

Increase US$511 Million (FY 2009)

Increase US$47.8 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Increase US$29.0 Million (FY 2009)[1]
Total assets Increase US$424 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Total equity Increase US$197 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Number of employees
Subsidiaries FSS Airholdings
Rocky Mountain Holdings
Mercy Air Service
Footnotes / references
2007 Annual Report

Air Methods, Corp. is the world's largest air medical provider and publicly owned emergency medical services helicopter operator located in the United States. Air Methods began providing air medical transport in 1980, focusing on quality of care to patients, and safety in aviation operations. In 2013 alone, Air Methods flew close to 150,000 air medical flight hours and completed more than 100,000 patient transports. Since 1991, the company has been publicly traded company under the NASDAQ ticker “AIRM.”

Air Methods has become the largest Air Medical Provider in the World, and operates the sixth-largest Operating Certificate in the U.S. with over 450 EMS and Tourism aircraft. Air Methods contributed to over $1.8 Million in charitable community donations in 2013. Standard Helicopter Safety Technologies include Night Vision Goggles (NVG), Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning Systems (HTAWS), XM Satellite Weather, GPS Navigation, Satellite Tracking, and Wire Strike.

Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado at Centennial Airport, the company has more than 4,000 employees, operates a fleet of helicopters (and fixed-wing) aircraft at close to 300 bases that serve 48 states. Air Methods offers all key core competencies in-house including aviation operations; billing and collections; dispatch and communications; field maintenance; medical staffing and training; and installation of medical interiors. [4] Air Methods is the largest air medical company in the world and has more aircraft than the United States Coast Guard.

In October 2012, Air Methods opened their state-of-the-art technologically advanced training center in Aurora, Colorado. Located near Air Methods’ corporate office, the 14,000-square-foot facility consists of advanced simulation areas, learning classrooms and office space.

In the aviation portion of the center, the company has permanently installed a Eurocopter EC135 advanced aviation training device.The clinical section of the center includes a main learning classroom and two simulation rooms. One room focuses on adult patients and includes both an adult human patient simulator (HPS) and a Trauma Man skills trainer. The second room is dedicated to pediatrics and infants and includes the respective HPSs. Both simulation rooms have corresponding control rooms where the instructor controls the scenario and is able to view the clinicians’ skills via a glass window. The maintenance portion of the center features a dedicated classroom with individual computer stations for maintenance training. The center also includes personnel from the flight and maintenance training department, pilot records, and anti-drug abuse and alcohol misuse prevention program.[5]

Subsidiaries and acquisitions[edit]

Air Methods provides air medical emergency transport services under three separate operating models, including the Community-Based Model (CBM) and the Hospital-Based Model (HBM).

The United Rotorcraft Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Tourism Division comprises Sundance Helicopters, Inc. and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, which provides helicopter tours and charter flights in the Las Vegas/Grand Canyon region and Hawaii, respectively. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 450 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

Rocky Mountain Holdings, LLC (RMH), Mercy Air Service, Inc. (Mercy Air), and LifeNet, Inc. (LifeNet) operate as wholly owned subsidiaries of Air Methods.[6]

Air Methods purchased CJ Systems Aviation Group, a leading provider of aeromedical transport, in October 2007.[7]

In 2011 Air Methods acquired Omniflight Helicopters, Inc and operates it as a wholly owned subsidiary. Omniflight Helicopters consisted of over 100 helicopters.[8]

International Joint Venture[edit]

In July 2011 Air Methods (Air Methods International, Ltd.) entered in a joint venture agreement with Basari Holding, AS and Anka Aerospace & Defense, LLC to form Helistar, AS. The joint venture company is headquartered in Ankara, Turkey.

Service Models[edit]

Air Methods provides services through two basic programs; Community-Based Model (CBM) and Hospital-Based Model (HBM) operations. Under both programs Air Methods transports persons requiring intensive medical care from either the scene of an accident or general care hospitals to highly skilled trauma centers or tertiary care centers.

The CBM operates 105 bases at hospitals, fire stations or airports, operating more than 127 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft and Air Methods employees provide medical care to patients en route.

The HBM delivery model serving 80 hospital customers in 33 states and operates a fleet of more than 170 hospital-based aircraft and medical care en route is provided by employees or contractors of customer hospitals.

Other services[edit]

The "'Air Methods Products Division'", designs, manufactures, and installs aircraft medical interiors and other aerospace or medical transport products.

United Rotorcraft is a subsidiary of Air Methods that designs, manufactures, and installs interiors for medical transport aircraft, law enforcement aircraft, and other corporate aircraft. United Rotorcraft is licensed by companies as an OEM manufacturer to produce the interiors, mounts, and equipment.[9]

The Direct Call Transfer Center is a division of Air Methods that coordinates transfers between hospitals and referring centers. It is the center point of coordination between all parties involved in the transfer process.[10]

AirCom is the dispatching/coordinating/and flight tracking division of Air Methods. It dispatches over 400 aircraft for Air Methods Corporation as well as dispatching and coordinating services for other agencies, including police departments, county departments, ambulance services, and other public service agencies.[11]


A Bell 412 operated by Mercy Air, a subsidiary of Air Methods

In December 2007, a new Eurocopter EC145 Air Ambulance was completed for the Mayo Clinic.[12]

Air Methods Fleet of Helicopters includes the

Fixed Wing Owned and or Operated thru Air Methods


Air Methods, as of 2006, has had a total of 19 accidents. Following a 2006 accident Craig Yale, the vice president of corporate development for Air Methods, stated in a news conference shortly after the accident that, "We fly over 100,000 hours a year, 85,000 missions a year, and in doing so have had very few fatal accidents over a 10-year period."

  • In January 2005, an Air Methods helicopter crashed in Washington, D.C. with two dead and one injured, and another crashed in Mississippi killing one.[13]
  • On December 10, 2006 in the 2006 Mercy Air helicopter accident three were killed in a crash a Cajon Pass, California.
  • On June 29, 2008, a Bell 407 medical helicopter operated by Air Methods collided with another medical helicopter in Arizona, killing six of the seven aboard both aircraft. Another Air Methods helicopter crashed in May in Wisconsin soon after taking off; three people were killed in that accident: the pilot, flight doctor and flight nurse.[14]
  • On July 28, 2010, LifeNet 12, a Eurocopter AS350B3 crashed in Tucson, Arizona killing all 3 crewmembers aboard. LifeNet 12 based out of Douglas Arizona was en route back to Douglas from Marana Arizona. Witnesses describe the helicopter losing power in flight crashing into the street below. It appears from witnesses that the pilot was able to steer the aircraft away from landing into a house nearby.
  • On August 26, 2011 four people (3 crew members and 1 patient) were killed when a LifeNet Eurocopter AS350 based at Rosecrans Airport and connected to Heartland Hospital in St. Joseph, Missouri crashed near Liberty, Missouri. Initial crash reports indicated it had run out of fuel. The helicopter had traveled 45 miles from St. Joseph to Harrison County Community Hospital in Bethany, Missouri to pick up a patient. It did not refuel before traveling another 70 miles en route to its intended destination at Liberty Hospital. It was reported to be within a mile of landing for fuel at Midwest National Air Center in Mosby, Missouri (near Liberty) when it crashed.[15][16] In 2013 the NTSB received information indicating that texting may have been a contributing cause to the accident, making it the first time texting has been found to occur during a fatal air accident.[17]

See also[edit]


In May, 2012, Air Methods became the first Air Medical Company to exit level 3 of the FAA's Safety Management System (SMS) and reached Level 4. The SMS program is an organizational framework created and implemented by the FAA to systematically guide, track, and provide recognition for safety efforts by commercial air operators. Level 4, the continuous improvement stage, is the final phase of implementation. With this milestone, Air Methods joins the elite company of only seven other commercial air operators (including major U.S. airlines) in the nation to reach this final level, and currently is the only helicopter company and air medical provider to hold this distinction.[18]


  1. ^ a b c Air Methods (AIRM) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  2. ^ a b Air Methods (AIRM) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  3. ^ "Company Profile for Air Methods Corp (AIRM)". Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  4. ^ Air Methods. "Work With Us". Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  5. ^ Air Methods. "Air Methods Opens Technologically Advanced Training Center". 
  6. ^ "Who We Are - Air Methods: The World's Largest Air Ambulance Operator". Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  7. ^ "Air Methods Completes Acquisition of FSS Airholdings, Inc., Parent Company of CJ Systems Aviation Group, Inc.". Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  8. ^ Air Methods. "Air Methods acquires Omniflight". 
  9. ^ Air Methods. "A Partner of Choice". 
  10. ^ Air Methods. "DirectCall Transfer Center". 
  11. ^ Air Methods. "AirCom Only center of its size and scope in the nation". 
  12. ^ 9 News at 7am, KUSA-TV, Channel 9, NBC, Denver, Colorado, aired 7:00-8:00am, MST circa December 20, 2007.
  13. ^ Gang, Duane W.; Lisa O'Neill-Hill; Paul LaRocco (2006-12-12). "Helicopters grounded : The number of crashes has increased in recent years, a federal study finds.". Press-Enterprise. The pilot, nurse and paramedic of an air ambulance that crashed Sunday night in a foggy, hilly area near the summit of the Cajon Pass were an experienced crew, company officials and colleagues said Monday. 
  14. ^ "Air Methods stock down after crash". Denver Business Journal. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  15. ^[dead link]
  16. ^
  17. ^ Carl Franzen. "Texting while flying may have played role in fatal helicopter crash". The Verge. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ Air Methods. "Air Methods Reaches Highest Level In FAA’s SMS Program". 

External links[edit]