CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston Area Medical Center approved a motion to buy a new HealthNet helicopter for $3.5 million during its monthly board meeting Wednesday.
The new helicopter will replace a 13-year-old model, made by the same company, which lacks some technological advancements made in recent years.
"Technology has improved. Aviation has made significant advancements," said Larry Hudson, CAMC's chief financial officer. "We're taking advantage of those advances by requiring a new E-130, replacing the existing unit that we have now."
The new technology will help pilots navigate through bad weather with greater ease because they can rely on instruments, as opposed to visuals, Hudson said.
"Helicopters last for a long time, but we just want the newer technology for the citizens of the area," he said.
The existing helicopter will either be used as a backup or sold for about $1 million, pending a joint decision between the hospital and HealthNet.
CAMC, Cabell Huntington Hospital and WVU Healthcare jointly operate HealthNet, which operates two helicopters per hospital.