STARS Alberta hoping to purchase new helicopters with proceeds from 2019 lottery


The 2019 STARS Lottery Alberta grand prizes were unveiled Thursday, including three fully-furnished dream homes in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.

More than 2,800 prizes worth over $4.5 million will be awarded to ticket holders this year.

STARS Alberta CEO Andrea Robertson said a top fundraising priority is to replace some of the organization’s aging fleet.

“We’ve been flying the same helicopters for 34 years, and they need a lot of work,” Robertson said. “They’re nearing their end of life, and so now is the time to replace them.”

The aging fleet, comprised of BK 117 helicopters, has completed tens of thousands of missions.

READ MORE: STARS in Alberta looking to replace fleet over 5 years

Watch below: (From June 25, 2018) STARS Air Ambulance is looking to replace its entire Alberta fleet with five new helicopters by 2024. Dr. JN Armstrong, the chief medical officer in charge of STARS, spoke to Gord Steinke about the plan.





STARS Alberta says it needs to replace five choppers, and it won’t be cheap; each fully-equipped Airbus H145 costs about $13 million.

“It’s not something that will happen overnight, the economy has thrown us a few curves, so I do really want to say a special thank you for the ongoing support, especially when the economy has been really up and down,” Robertson said.

The first new unit for Alberta is planned to arrive this year, with no plans to reduce access to STARS serving Albertans as the fleet is changed over.

The remainder of the fleet will be be replaced within five years.

“We’re going to be raising funds and talking to our government partners about purchasing those helicopters, but as we go, now the lottery is more important than it’s ever been.”

Each ticket purchased is eligible for all prize draws.

Take a look at the STARS Alberta Dream Home in Edmonton at 4209 Veterans Way in the gallery below.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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