London’s Air Ambulance, the charity that delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured people in London, has now acquired a second emergency medical helicopter thanks to generous contributions from the people and organisations of London. The used MD902 Explorer, which is now registered as G-LNDN, is targeted to be operational in early 2016.
Following the launch of the charity’s ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ fundraising campaign seven months ago, just over £4m has been raised to date, with just under £2m still needed to reach the £6m target. This support has allowed the charity to acquire the aircraft and it will cover the costs of converting the helicopter to meet UK regulations. However, more money is still needed to fund associated running costs of operating the second aircraft and extending summer daylight flying hours for five years.
Graham Hodgkin, Chief Executive Officer at London’s Air Ambulance, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have now completed the acquisition of our second MD902 Explorer helicopter. While more money still needs to be raised and there is still more work to do to get the aircraft ready for UK HEMS operations, this is a truly exciting development for London and the biggest step-change in our service resilience in the charity’s history. Thank you to all those who have already contributed. We will continue to fundraise towards our ultimate target and ask everyone to help in any way they can. Anyone can donate, either online at yourhelicopter.london, or by texting HELICOPTER to 70800 to donate £5.”
Through the acquisition of a second helicopter and by extending its daylight flying hours in the summer months, the charity estimates it will be able to reach a further 400 patients per year by aircraft. This year, the charity flew longer hours in the summer months for the first time in its history and, as a result, it was able to reach, and treat, a further 67 patients by air.