Air Ambulance Victoria

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Air Ambulance Victoria
English Title:
Air Ambulance Victoria
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

The Victoria Civil Ambulance Service (VCAS) was established in the city of Melbourne in 1916. Elsewhere in the state, many regional ambulance services came to be formed. In early 1959 the Peter McCallum Cancer Institute began to charter aircraft to bring patients from around the state to Melbourne for treatment. In 1962 a formal Victoria Air Ambulance service was created, chartering aircraft as required to transport patients to hospitals in Melbourne. In 1965 a dedicated aircraft was chartered, to deliver a better service than the previous ad-hoc operation. The aircraft fleet soon expanded, with successive charter contracts placed for bigger and better aircraft.

In 1986 the first helicopter was obtained, allowing emergency retrieval of patients. Circa 1988 the VCAS became the Metropolitan Ambulance Service (MAS), following the merger of a number of smaller services. Although focussed on delivering ambulance services in the greater Melbourne area, the MAS continued the Air Ambulance operation inherited from the VCAS. In a similar move outside of Melbourne, five regional ambulance service were merged into Rural Ambulance Victoria (RAV) in 1997 (1998?). On 1 July 2008 the MAS and RAV were merged to form a single state-wide ambulance service, known as Ambulance Victoria (AV).

Key Dates

1916 Victorian Civil Ambulance Service (VCAS) established.
1959 Ad-hoc use of chartered aircraft for patients begins.
1 May 1962 Victoria Air Ambulance starts operations for VCAS.
29 June 1965 Dedicated air ambulance aircraft chartered.
1986 First helicopter acquired.
1988? Metropolitan Ambulance Service (MAS) created from merger of VCAS with smaller services.
1997 Rural Ambulance Victoria (RAV) formed from merger of five regional services.
1 July 2008 Ambulance Victoria formed from merger of MAS and RAV.

Current Status

AAV aircraft and helicopters are fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

AAV helicopters have operated with a white cabin and red tailboom, and red/white stripe along the fuselage underside. The AV insignia appears on the cabin door and the titles AMBULANCE appear on the tail boom. The AW139s have a modified colour scheme, with a broad blue band marking the division between the red and white areas.

The fixed wing aircraft operate in an overall white colour scheme with a blue/white/red fuselage cheatline, AMBULANCE VICTORIA titles on the rear fuselage and the AV logo on the fin.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The VAS aircraft and helicopters initially carried standard Australian civil aircraft registrations, e.g. Cessna 402 VH-BUS, but more recently carry registrations in a special VH-VAx sequence, e.g. Super King Air 200 VH-VAI.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale AS365N Dauphin 2 1 1 0 EMS
AgustaWestland AW139 2 2 0 EMS
Beech Super King Air 200 8 4 0 Air Ambulance
Bell 412 4 4 0 EMS

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aero Commander Shrike Commander 5 1962 1979 contractor
Aerospatiale AS365C Dauphin 2 1 1986 2001 contractor
Aerospatiale AS365N Dauphin 2 1 2001 current contractor
AgustaWestland AW139 2 2016 current contractor
Beech 55 Twin Bonanza 2 1965 1971 contractor
Beech Super King Air 200 8 1998 current RFDS
Bell 412 4 1987 current contractor
Cessna 402 9 1979 1989 contractor
Cessna 404 Titan 6 1989 1998 contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

To be added.


Main Headquarters

Ambulance Victoria, 375 Manningham Road, Doncaster, Victoria 3108.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of current unit assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The five helicopters are based at based at Essendon, Bendigo, the Latrobe Valley and Warrnambool. The fixed-wing aircraft are based at Essendon airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information


None known.


To be added


Air Ambulance Victoria
Air Ambulance Victoria
wikipedia: Air Ambulance Victoria
Youtube: Air Ambulance Victoria
Air Ambulance Air Ambulance Victoria Air Ambulance Victoria
Air Ambulance

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.


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