After more than a year in the planning, our new state-of-the-art helicopter, an AgustaWestland 169 is one step closer to becoming operational in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
The helicopter was flown to the UK from Italy on Friday and is now secure in a hangar at Staverton, where our helicopter provider is based. It will remain there for up to six weeks undergoing an internal medical fit so that it is ready to respond to the emergencies we are called on to attend.
Chief Executive, Karen Jobling, said: “It is a very exciting time for us as we near the day that the AW169 will be operational and will be seen flying above the skies of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
“The new aircraft has many benefits which will increase the level of care and treatment that we can give to patients, directly impacting upon their chances of survival and recovery. It is thanks to the support of everyone who has raised funds for our charity that we can invest in this aircraft which will make such a difference to so many lives.”
Once the medical fit is complete, the AW169 will be flown to its new home at RAF Waddington where our pilots and critical care team of paramedics and doctors will carry out extensive training on the new aircraft while still responding to emergencies in our current MD902 helicopter.
The new helicopter will be the same distinctive emergency yellow colour with Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance branding, but that is where the similarities end.
The AW169 is bigger, faster, has greater endurance and will allow the crew to have 360-degree access to the patient in-flight. It is hoped that it will be operational before the end of the year.