Bond Air Services (Bond) is proud to announce that one of the two helicopter air ambulances it operates on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has reached 10,000 flying hours.
The aircraft, a Eurocopter EC135T2i (registration G-SASA), reached this milestone transferring a maternity patient with abdominal pains from Cambeltown hospital to Crosshouse hospital in Kilmarnock. The EC135T2i is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in Scotland and flew in excess of 930 hours during 2012. This high specification modern technology aircraft is the most popular helicopter air ambulance operating in the UK, located at 18 of Bond’s bases throughout Scotland, England and Wales.
The aircraft was one of the first EC135s introduced into Bond’s fleet, replacing the Bolkow 105 (Bo105) aircraft operated from the commencement of the service in April 1989 up until October 2000. It provides HEMS and air ambulance support across the Scottish Lowlands, Highlands and Islands, including patient transfer for areas without major hospital facilities.
As part of the recently renewed contract between Bond and SAS, two of the latest medically-equipped EC145T2 aircraft will be introduced in September 2014. The new aircraft type will further enhance this long-standing service by delivering improved range and endurance, whilst also providing more room for patients and equipment.
Garry Fraser, General Manager, Air Ambulance Operations, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “The two EC135s fly around 2,000 missions each year and were the first helicopters in Scotland to have been purpose-built to our specific medical specifications. They provide an essential lifeline to remote and rural communities, as well as responding to major incidents and serious emergencies across the country”.
Chris Greenhill, Managing Director, Bond Air Services, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by one of our most hard-working aircraft. We look forward to continuing to provide this vital service to Scotland for the coming years, and continuing to innovate as we go”.