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Ornge receives funding for new planes

By CJ Goater Nov 7, 2023 | 12:14 PM

An ORNGE Pilatus PC-12 at the Thunder Bay Airport Photo Courtesy: ORNGE

The Ontario government is investing just over $108 million to expand and update Ornge Air Ambulance’s airplane fleet with four additional planes and replacements for their current eight-plane fleet, bringing the fleet’s total to 12.

This investment will aid Ornge’s air ambulance service in assisting those living in rural and remote communities, with consistent access to high-quality urgent care.

“Our government recognizes the important role Ornge plays in providing patients with timely access to care, no matter where they live in Ontario,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Investing in new, state-of-the-art planes is another way we are making it faster for Ontarians in rural and remote communities to connect to the care they need, when they need it, for years to come.”

The new 12-plane fleet is set to be ready in 2026 and Ornge will be able to add two fully staffed, 24/7 air ambulance crews to further connect people in the region in need of rapid emergency care.

In addition to updating and expanding Ornge’s fleet of aircraft, Ontario is providing Ornge with nearly $10 million to move from their existing Sudbury base to a larger hangar in the city that can house both their helicopter and planes in one base.

This new hangar will help better coordinate emergency care in the north, to ensure Ontarians receive the high-quality care they deserve across the province.

“This is a transformative investment in Ontario’s air ambulance and critical care transport program. With a new 24/7 fixed-wing air ambulance crew based in Northeastern Ontario and additional aircraft added to our fleet, we will be able to bring high-quality care in transport to more patients with enhanced reliability,” said Dr. Homer Tien, President and CEO of Ornge. “This will help us deliver on our mandate to improve health equity, particularly in Northern Ontario and among northern Indigenous communities.”