Northern Helicopter GmbH

Short description

Northern Helicopter is focussed on specialised helicopter services offshore. Sea pilot transfer and polar research aviation complement the traditional portfolio of offshore HEMS and offshore ambulance. NHC operates five coastal bases in the German North and Baltic Seas.


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Standards, Products

  • P HEMS
  • P Offshore
  • P Mission Equipment

About us

Northern Helicopter GmbH has been engaged in ambulance and intensive care transport by helicopter for more than 25 years. Since 2008, NHC Northern Helicopter’s head office has been located at Emden Airport. NHC Northern Helicopter took over the ambulance helicopter service from the East Frisian Islands to the mainland in October 2008 and carries out more than 900 patient transports per year. Sine 2019 NHC Northern Helicopter is subsidiary of DRF Luftrettung.

Offshore Rescue

In 2011 Northern Helicopter GmbH was the first offshore air rescue company with 24/7 standby offshore Rescue Transport Helicopter (RTH) for the offshore wind industry in the North Sea Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 2011 was the launch of the offshore air rescue base in Emden. To guarantee short rescue flights to the North Sea wind farms, a rescue helicopter was transferred to St. Peter-Ording in 2014. It is on standby around the clock and guarantees first aid in emergencies in the Exclusive Economic Zone in the German Bight. Since January 2018, a second offshore rescue helicopter has been in service 24/7 at Güttin airfield on the island of Rügen. The helicopter is used for rescue and medical care for the wind farms off the coast of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. NHC Northern Helicopter has specialised in acute and emergency medical care for and transport of injured and sick people on offshore wind farms.

The helicopters used are equipped with modern emergency medical apparatus for monitoring patients, such as respirators, mobile ultrasounds, and monitoring devices. These devices go beyond the required DIN EN 13718 standard.

2023 was the launch of the offshore ambulance helicopter at Norden-Norddeich airfield.

Air Ambulance Service

Northern Helicopter GmbH has been conducting patient transports with ambulance helicopters from the East Frisian Islands to the mainland hospitals and clinics since 2008. Thanks to the ambulance helicopter of NHC Northern Helicopter, sick islanders and tourists are flown as quickly as possible to the nearest clinic and are given specialized medical and competent treatment there.

The East Frisian Islands are largely subject to tides and thus inaccessible by ship for many hours a day. Sick or injured individuals depend on quick assistance by helicopter transport in emergencies.

The ambulance helicopter takes off in the immediate vicinity of the East Frisian Islands in Norden-Norddeich.

Research Aviation

Northern Helicopter GmbH has been active in research aviation for the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) since 2022. On behalf of the Laeisz shipping company, NHC Northern Helicopter operates two helicopters on the research vessel of the Federal Republic of Germany Polarstern, provides the flying crew for the expeditions to Arctic and Antarctic regions and ensures the airworthiness of the helicopters. For the maintenance and technical operation of the machines during the expeditions, NHC Northern Helicopter has contracted the maintenance operation of its shareholder DRF Stiftung Luftrettung gemeinnützige AG in Rheinmünster.

Sea Pilot Transfer

2023 NHC Northern Helicopter started the sea pilot transfer with helicopters on behave of the pilot brotherhoods. From JadeWeserAirport Wilhelmshaven the helicopters fly sea pilots to the vessels positions in the outer reaches of the estuaries of the rivers Elbe, Weser, Jade and Ems.

Crew Transports

Since May 2016, Northern Helicopter GmbH has been flying its established ambulance operations and offshore air rescue services from its Emden location to the wind farms in the North Sea as well as crew transports. Passengers, baggage and cargo are transported. In the Departure, the guests go through an extensive check-in programme before their actual departure at NHC Northern Helicopter. Crew transport completes the NHC Northern Helicopter range of services for the wind farms in the German Bight.

Specialized Offshore Services

In addition to offshore rescue and ambulance services, Northern Helicopter GmbH also offers its clients services that are tailored to their special requirements, needs, and wishes. The experienced company accepts individual air transport requests and also makes photo and film flights, for example.