March 8, 2018:
UK charity Midlands Air Ambulance (MAA) has commenced operations with its upgraded H145 helicopter. The aircraft is supporting patient care across six counties and will be housed at RAF Cosford in Shropshire. It was unveiled by chairman Brendan Connor alongside ambassadors John Challis, Sir Lee Pearson and Neil Back.
MAA employs three air ambulance helicopters, wholly owning the latest one and an H135, and leasing a second H135 from Babcock Mission Critical Services.
The larger H145 was medically kitted out at Babcock's Staverton facility and is expected to handle an average of three missions a day. It can travel long distances before refuelling, enabling the aircrew to respond faster. A large interior means that additional aircrew can be flown to major incident scenes, and further medical equipment can be carried on board to treat more complex emergencies.
Connor states: "Excellent pre-hospital patient care is at the heart of everything we do. To support our mission, build resilience and strengthen the long-term sustainability of the charity, we made the strategic decision to invest a proportion of donations into this H145. The new airframe will enable us to reduce our operating costs and complements our plans to further improve care in the region."
MAA chief executive Hanna Sebright adds: "The new airframe cost #7 million and has been funded by our dedicated supporters, including the communities we serve and our corporate partners."