New air ambulance for Wales
Wales Air Ambulance now has a new helicopter at its Mid Wales base, completing its fleet of three advanced air ambulances for Wales.
The new aircraft, which will operate from Welshpool Airport, supersedes the charity’s 20 year-old Bolkow Bo-105 helicopter. It is the third and final of WAA’s helicopters to be upgraded, after two successful campaigns to replace aircraft at its Swansea and Caernarfon bases.
The upgrade to a Eurocopter-135 comes after months of fundraising to generate an extra £600,000 for the purpose-built aircraft. ‘Leap into Action’ was WAA’s nationwide campaign for 2012, appealing to supporters to act now to help replace the charity’s aged helicopter before it was decommissioned by the Civil Aviation Authority.
WAA chief executive Angela Hughes said: “The response we have had from this appeal has been phenomenal. People from every corner of Wales have helped us with our final upgrade to a new generation helicopter, meaning all three aircraft have the very latest technology for air ambulance operations here in Wales.”
Hughes continued “This really is a new chapter for Wales Air Ambulance, and for pre-hospital care in Wales. These helicopters are faster, more efficient and have more room inside for treatment in-flight. Now that we have this technology across the country, it means everyone in Wales – from busy towns to the remotest of countryside – can benefit from this cutting-edge emergency air cover.”
Charity chairman Bob Palmer added: “The charity has come a long way since it started in 2001, growing from one helicopter in Swansea to a national operation that can reach anywhere in Wales within just 20 minutes. Having strived to get this new lease, our next challenge is to ensure that our new generation fleet continues to fly for many years to come. We are here for anyone in their most difficult hour of need, and we hope people will continue to support this lifesaving cause for Wales.”