Tibet to have helicopter emergency rescue system by 2020

By: Xinhua
Updated: June 06, 2019

Aviation companies are expanding infrastructure and service to enhance air rescue services in Tibet Autonomous Region, officials said.


Lhasa Xueying General Aviation Co began a project in 2017 to build three rescue bases, each with a flight radius of 300 kilometers, and it is nearing completion, the China Daily reported.


The company has five helicopters at its Lhasa base and plans to add two more in the second half of the year, in Xigaze and Shannan.


"Air rescue allows a quick response in emergencies involving tourists, fire control, medical conditions and car crashes in remote areas," said Songtsen, executive vice-president of Lhasa Xueying General Aviation, the newspaper quoted.


"Helicopters fill a regional gap. They are part of a key attempt to link ground rescue with air rescue."


The aviation company is a joint venture of the Lhasa government and Nanjing-based Ruoer General Aviation Development Group, based in east China's Jiangsu Province.


The project is part of the region's efforts to have a helicopter emergency rescue system in place by 2020.


The company also provides services such as charter flights, air tours, air patrols, pilot training, airborne advertising, fire prevention and aerial photography.


"With insufficient air ambulance service in the past, the death rate from automobile accidents was high because ground rescue services could not reach the sites in time," said Xiao Jian, general manager of Tibet Yunying Medical Rescue, a company working with Lhasa Xueying.


Gao Daiquan, a neurologist at Lhasa People's Hospital, said it was good to have air medical rescue services in Tibet because the region's transportation network is not highly developed.


"It is crucial for transferring patients, especially people with traumatic injuries or childbirth emergencies," Gao said.


"I hope it will work well with different hospitals and city emergency departments and play a key role in the city's overall first-aid service," Gao said.


The Tibet Red Cross Society 999 Emergency Rescue Center established the region's first aviation rescue team in 2017 and has made many lifesaving flights.


Ma Jun, the center's director, said teams have undertaken 23 mountain rescues in Tibet and helped local police in operations.


Ma said Lhasa Xueying has the helicopters, while the center can provide professional medical crews, including air rescue doctors licensed in Europe and sophisticated air rescue medical equipment.


"We will work with Lhasa Xueying to carry out professional air rescue work," Ma said.