CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston Area Medical Center will soon be purchasing a new HealthNet helicopter.

The hospital’s board Wednesday approved the new helicopter purchase for $3.5 million, which will replace a 13-year-old aircraft.

Board members said the new helicopter will allow them to take advantage of improved technologies and significant advancements in aviation. The new technology is expected to allow pilots to fly more missions in bad weather.

HealthNet is a joint operation of CAMC, WVU Healthcare and Cabell Huntington Hospital. CAMC is responsible for the upkeep of two helicopters, based in Beckley and Ripley, which serve the Charleston area.

All three parties will determine what to do with the old helicopter. Board members said it will either be used as a backup or sold for $1 million.

The board also decided to refinance the debt on its other helicopter in order to take advantage of low interest rates.

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