Monroe County orders three AW139 Helicopters for Florida ops 

Photo Credit: Leonardo

Monroe County, Florida, is turning to the Leonardo AW139 medium twin-engine helicopter for air ambulance support across the Florida Keys.

The new three helicopters will be operated by Trauma Star for Air Ambulance and support flights in Monroe County in Florida, with deliveries slated for late 2024 and early 2025.

Florida HEMS operations

The County will now be better equipped to support trauma patients within its vicinity with the three in-coming AW139 medium twin-engine. 

These new helicopters will be operated jointly with the Monroe County Fire Rescue and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. This will provide tremendous support for the community and across the Florida Keys from Lower Keys Medical Center and the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport.

Between the end of 2024 and early 2025, these brand-new AW139s will be delivered ex-Factory from Leonardo’s FAA-certified Part 21 Production Facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Moreover, these brand-new helicopters will be refurbished in accordance before replacing the entire fleet of the county. 


Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay stated with enthusiasm: “An extensive search for a replacement aircraft was made to update Trauma Star’s aging fleet of Sikorsky S76 aircraft with a newer, manufacturer-supported aircraft.”

“The goal was an aircraft that would increase operating cost efficiency and reduce downtime due to unscheduled maintenance.  The AW139 is the only aircraft available that will meet Trauma Star’s mission profile, able to fly the distance, carry our payloads, and utilize our current landing zones” 

Monroe County 

The county is situated in the southern tip of Florida, and the United States which includes Key West, Marathon, Key Colony Beach, Layton, and Islamorada. 

Monroe County is very sparsely separated across 3,737 sq. miles. Water covers 73% of the county which includes a large part of the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. 

Clyde Woltman, Chief Executive Officer of Leonardo Helicopters US stated:

“We are honored to begin our long-term partnership with Monroe County, and we are confident that the AW139 will provide Trauma Star with the capabilities they need to safely and effectively rescue and transport patients in Southern Florida. ” 

AW139 – A Proven Machine

The new three ex-factory order signifies the success of the AW139 as the preferred helicopter for multiple missions including EMS and SAR missions.

In the USA alone, there are growing number of the AW139 population amongst public service operators. There are nearly 400 aircraft in the category flying for the civil, para-public, and military operators flying for critical missions worldwide. 

There are more than 900,000 flying hours that have been racked up until today by the AW139 rescue variant fleet throughout the world. Out of the total 3.7 million flying hours for all missions. 

To date, there are more than 1,300 units sold, over 1,100 in service for over 280 operators in around 90 countries. 

The AW139 offers superior capabilities compared to its competitors, be it, technology, and safety which strictly meet requirements from operators for tasks in challenging conditions.

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By Indy Udol 4 Min Read
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