Deal agreed to keep air ambulance flying in Peterborough

A new deal has been signed to keep the East Anglian Air Ambulance flying.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 11:39 am
The East Anglian Air Ambulance in action. Picture: Stephen Sparks

East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and its aviation partner Babcock have announced a new multi-year contract to keep the helicopter flying high and saving lives.

EAAA has two state-of-the-art helicopters covering the region, one based in Norwich and one in Cambridge, with the service covering much of the East of England, including Peterborough. The helicopters are currently supplied by Babcock. The new contract crucially covers the introduction of 24/7 flying and follows a detailed examination by the charity of all potential UK helicopter operators, in order to find the right partnership to deliver the service into the future.

Babcock will continue as EAAA’s exclusive aviation partner for at least the next seven years, providing EAAA with advanced helicopters, ground support, engineering and pilots.

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Matthew Jones, Director of Operations at EAAA, said: “In the 10 years we have partnered with Babcock we have been impressed with their commitment to safe and increasingly effective air ambulance operations. This new contract means we can continue to work together to deliver, and improve, the critical emergency response we are proud to offer to the people of East Anglia.

“We’re really pleased to have been able to time this contract with the start of our 24/7 helicopter operations, which will be a huge step forward for the charity and the service we provide to our local communities. It wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic support from Babcock and its teams.”

The partnership with Babcock will help EAAA continue to grow and develop the air ambulance service, which has been trusted by communities across East Anglia for over two decades to provide hospital level emergency care to those most in need.

Director Babcock Onshore, Hayley Belmore, said: “This news cements Babcock’s position as the UK’s leading provider of specialist air ambulance operations and means Babcock and EAAA will work together for many more years to further improve the way air ambulances provide emergency medical support to people in urgent need.”

Options for additional years would see Babcock continue as EAAA’s sole aviation partner for another decade into 2031.

Looking ahead Babcock aims to help the charity take the next significant step forward in technology for air ambulances as they become the first in the UK to operate with a new 5-blade upgrade on their helicopters – the H145D3.

Hayley added: “EAAA are true innovators, and this is just one reason why together we make such a great partnership. We have achieved a tremendous amount together in the 10 years and are hugely excited about what today’s announcement means for the future of this lifesaving service.”