Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) has announced that the finishing touches are being made to its EC135 T2E, ahead of final testing. Teams at Babcock have spent the last few months overhauling the air ambulance ahead of its move to Aberdeen. Now, as well as the aircraft being loaded with life-saving equipment and having been upgraded to allow it to carry more weight, the team is pleased with the result. The aircraft will be operated by Babcock MCS Onshore.
Workers at Babcock's Staverton facility in England have fixed the decals to the helicopter, which is now adorned in SCAA's yellow, green and blue livery.
Fundraising director Nick Harvey says he and his team were very excited to witness the progress being made in Helimed 79's development, adding that everything was on track.
“It is great to see SCAA being emblazoned on a second life-saving air ambulance,” he comments. “We work to meet the aero medical needs of the people of Scotland and this second helicopter air ambulance is a significant step towards achieving that goal.”
Helimed 79, now branded with its registration name G-EMAA, is expected to take off on its first missions at the end of this month. Babcock project manager Gavin Baxter says: “The work to launch the UK's newest air ambulance at Aberdeen is really progressing well. The aircraft's interior has been fitted and the brackets are in place for the equipment installation. Now the logos have been installed, the helicopter really is getting close to becoming operational.”
The charity's second aircraft will be based at Aberdeen International airport and will dramatically improve the time it takes to treat the most seriously injured patients in remote and rural parts of the north-east. The crew will also extend the reach of the major trauma centre at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital. Answering to the call of the Scottish Ambulance Service control room, the Granite City crew will also fly to help seriously ill patients across the country. Crew members are currently undergoing training and will be attending calls with other air ambulance teams across Scotland
Baxter adds: “Next up, we are focusing on getting the other preparations in place and we are making sure everyone from ground staff to logistics and medical teams are properly trained, the aircraft is fully certified for flight and all safety aspects are accounted for. The base itself at Aberdeen International airport is the focus of a huge amount of activity, with building works and branding all taking place right now.”