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Airlift Northwest has opened a new base at Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco to serve the communities of Central and Eastern Washington.

The new base started operations in September with a Swiss-engineered Pilatus PC-12 turboprop airplane. With a range of 1,000 miles, a cruising speed of 328 mph and the ability to maneuver in adverse weather conditions on either side of the Cascades, this airplane is ideal to transport patients to receive critical care in the case of an emergency or hospital transfer.

The aircraft can hold patients up to 450 pounds and land on smaller runways in rural communities.

The planes are staffed by two critical care flight nurses, and carry ventilators, glidescopes, ultrasound and hydraulic cranes. They can transport patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) — similar to a heart-lung bypass machine.

Read more about the new base on the UW Medicine Newsroom.