Our Exciting Launch of Two New Children’s Air Ambulances
Last week marked a momentous occasion for our national Children’s Air Ambulance and for all those involved with a complex six-year project.
Stakeholders such as the Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) and Leonardo Helicopters, along with pilots and representatives of our lifesaving charity, attended a ceremony at Gloucester Airport to mark the receipt of our two new specialist helicopters (AgustaWestland 169).
The helicopters will be based in Oxford and Doncaster, and become the only flying intensive care units in the country dedicated to transferring critically ill children and babies from local hospitals to specialist paediatric treatment centres.
Speaking at the ceremony, Children’s Air Ambulance CEO Andy Williamson said: “This is the culmination of a long and difficult journey to provide this unique service and I am very proud to see it come to fruition and of all those involved in making the dream a reality.
“The difference these two helicopters will to make to children, parents and NHS doctors and nurses involved in paediatric and neonatal specialist air transfers is very significant and that’s what this charity is all about.
“One of the aircraft carries the name of our former deputy CEO Alexandra Pope who was a staunch advocates of the Children’s Air Ambulance and who made such a huge contribution throughout her eight years with the charity. Sadly Alexandra lost her long and courageous battle with cancer earlier this year, but her legacy lives on in the vital work we do”
The event sparked great excitement for the upcoming scheduled national launches before the helicopters take flight to transport their first patients.
The bespoke equipment on-board includes a specially designed stretcher, incubator and extra seat for a parent to be able to accompany their child. These state of the art facilities make our helicopters second to none.
Director of Operations Richard Clayton added: “What a monumental day for the charity as we received the two new Children’s Air Ambulance aircraft to our fleet. It’s been an incredibly complex project to manage, involving many stakeholders, but now the exciting work starts as we open our new operational airbases in readiness for transferring our first patient. Thank you to everyone that has contributed to this project, and making the vision a reality.”
The official Children’s Air Ambulance launches are scheduled for:
Wednesday 12th September – London Oxford Airport
Friday 14th September – Doncaster Sheffield Airport
Wednesday 19th September – Bristol, Leigh Court
Friday 28th September – Leicester, Racecourse