Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust

Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

Prior to the year 2000, Tasmania does not appear to have had any search and rescue or EMS service. In August 2000 the Tasmanian Air Rescue Helicopter Service was launched. In September 2000 the Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust was first established, to help fund the service. The helicopter is operated on behalf of the Tasmanian Police and the Tasmanian Ambulance Service. In April 2005 the service was renamed Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service after a new sponsorship deal. The MBB BK 117 has been replaced by a similar model at least once. An AS355 Twin Squirrel is available as a standby if required.

Key Dates

1 August 2000 First helicopter received.
28 September 2000 Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust first established.
April 2005 Tasmanian Air Rescue Helicopter Service renamed Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Current Status

The Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust helicopter is fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust BK117 helicopter operates in the normal Westpac red and yellow colour scheme, with the addition of POLICE titles on the cabin door. The standby AS355 is overall blue with a yellow saw-cut marking and RESCUE titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The helicopters carry Australian civil aircraft registrations.

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 AS355 Twin Squirrel 1 1 0 EMS/Policing
MBB BK117B2 2 1 0 EMS/Policing

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS355 Twin Squirrel 1 2000 current contractor
MBB BK117B2 2 2000 current contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.


Main Headquarters

Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust, PO Box 265, Rosny Park Tasmania 7018.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The helicopters are based at Hobart Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information


None known.


Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust News


Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust
wikipedia: Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.