Air Methods to Buy Local Rescue Air operations

ATLANTA — Several air ambulance bases will close as part of an acquisition of local Rescue Air operations.

Air Methods Corp. announced Thursday it reached an agreement to acquire Omniflight Inc.’s Rescue Air operations in Atlanta and North Georgia.

Air Methods already has five bases across the Atlanta area and North Georgia operating as Emory Flight, while Rescue Air has six bases in Atlanta and North Georgia. With the merger, six bases will survive, five will close and some employees will be laid off.

Omniflight Chief Executive Robert A. Peiser said he expects fewer than 20 of his employees to be laid off. He and Air Methods Chief Executive Aaron Todd said they do not believe the deal will harm service or affect rates.

“We believe there’s an overcapacity situation within the Atlanta marketplace,” Todd said. “By consolidating these programs it gives us the opportunity to ensure long-term viability.”

The surviving bases will be in Covington, Gainesville, Griffin, Kennesaw, Newnan and at a location serving the I-75 and I-575 corridors. Three will operate as Emory Flight and three will operate as Rescue Air. Air Methods will contract with Omniflight for the aviation services at the Rescue Air locations.

The deal is expected to close Feb. 1. Air Methods did not disclose the purchase price. It said it bought the operations for a price based on “a risk-sharing model and is contingent on results of future operations.” Omniflight’s Savannah base is not affected by the deal.

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