AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Miles from Augusta University Health, construction is about to begin at Augusta Regional Airport. The airport and hospital system are teaming up for AU Air Healthcare, a new program to transport critically-ill patients to Augusta.
“This will provide potentially life-saving medical services for their [AU Health] customers,” Herbert Judon Jr., the Executive Director of Augusta Regional Airport, says. “We’re happy to be part of that.”
In the coming months, a helicopter pad and 11,000 square-foot hangar will be built at the airport to house a helicopter handpicked for the program.
“This aircraft provides much better patient access so we can provide a higher level of care in route, and we can carry more people” Dr. Phillip Coule, AU Health’s Chief Medical Officer, describes. “If we have to do something more specialized, we’re able to carry that equipment.”
The program is not just providing life-saving care, it is also creating jobs.
“We’ve been told it may begin with 25 jobs initially,” Judon says. “It may consist of flight crews and other support personnel.”
The project is just the beginning of Augusta Regional Airport’s expansion plan. It will soon begin construction on a new baggage carousel and consolidated rental car center. As the airport grows, its team hopes to remain at the center of the Augusta community.
“We provide air service for the community, but we also want to be a partner in the community in every way,” Judon says.