STARS Air Ambulance needs a new fleet of helicopters sooner rather than later.

STARS has been flying its current make of aircraft for 34 years and the organization felt it was time to see if this was the best aircraft for them.

Its current fleet is comprised of legacy aircraft and it’s getting harder to find parts.

An independent review indicated that for an organization of its size it’s best to have just one model of helicopter so it will move to the Airbus H145.

“We’re pleased with what long term operational costs look like. We need lots of power particularly in Calgary and Grande Prairie in the summer hitting those high altitudes and getting over the mountains when it’s hot,” says STARS President and CEO Andrea Robertson.

STARS has a plan in place to help purchase the new helicopters because each medically equipped aircraft costs about 13 million dollars.

“We're going to convert the fleet so once the new fleet's here we're going to sell all of our current aircraft and that will help us buy more aircraft and then we will have to go to  a capital campaign as well,” says Robertson.

STARS plans to have a fleet of nine helicopters across Western Canada however five of those will operate out of its three Alberta bases.

The organization hopes to get its first new helicopter by March 2019.