Air Ambulance deal paves way for night flights
Air ambulances in Cornwall will be able to operate at night, after a new deal was struck for two new helicopters.
The new contract with Medical Aviation Services (MAS) will come in to effect in December 2014 and allow Cornwall Air Ambulance (CAA) to increase its operating hours.
The new MD 902 Explorer aircraft will provide crew and patients with increased cabin space, and are able to fly further and carry more weight.
When combined with European rules, adopted by the UK in 2012, they will enable the charity to stage rescues at night.
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CAA chief executive Paula Martin said; "We have worked very closely with our paramedic team and the South Western Ambulance Service.
"We are delighted to say that both of the new CAA will have this capability in the future."
The move to a new operator marks the end of a 27-year relationship with current operator Bond Air Service. The company lost a competitive tender process, which also involved MAS and one other company.
Henk Schaeken, MAS group managing director, said; "Being selected by what is the original air ambulance charity in the country is truly an honour.
"The CAA is a fast-developing organisation.
"Adding a second dedicated aircraft will further enhance the service for the people of Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.
"It's very exciting to be part of this development of the CAA."
The new operator and charity will spend the next 20 months acquiring the new aircraft and fitting them for service.