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Work begins to get our new helicopter looking fly

Keen helicopter spotters amongst you may have noticed the arrival of an unfamiliar aircraft to the Thames Valley.

We recently purchased a helicopter, the model known as EC135T2+, from Devon Air Ambulance.

Buying this helicopter was part of our long-term aviation strategy, as we work towards bringing our aviation operations in-house from September.  

What does in-house mean?

Bringing our aviation operations in-house means we will be directly and legally responsible for all aspects of our operating approvals, and for the compliance and safety of our flight operations and the associated aircraft airworthiness management of our aircraft. We will have the power and flexibility to make decisions about our aircraft based on our own data and working to our own timelines.

It also means our pilots will be employed directly through us, rather than contracted through Babcock International.

Much like our decision to become an independent health care provider in 2018, this decision allows us to continually tailor our service to ensure we are delivering the best possible patient care.

Why do we need a new helicopter?

Our current helicopter, G-TVAL, will be returned to Babcock when our contract ends in September. This new aircraft will be registered as G-TVLY.

Our patients are at the very heart of what we do. Buying this new helicopter and getting it ready in advance means we will have no gaps in capability or service, meaning we can continue to provide the best possible critical care whenever and wherever it is needed.

So, what’s next?

The purchase of this helicopter was a big step towards our aviation independence and we’re very excited to see it take shape.

AS Aerospace have now begun work getting the aircraft ready to become part of our fleet of vehicles. This includes a shiny new paint job so that, whenever you see us flying overhead, you’ll recognise your local air ambulance.

Watch this space for more updates as we get ready for September!

new TVAA helicopter undergoing maintenance
New TVAA helicopter undergoing maintenance