London Air Ambulance acquires second helicopter
The London Air Ambulance (LAA) has raised enough funds to acquire a second MD902 Explorer helicopter.
The used MD902 Explorer, which is now registered as G-LNDN, is expected to be operational in early 2016.
Following the launch our ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ fundraising campaign seven months ago, a total of just over £4 million has been raised to date, with just under £2 million still needed to reach the £6 million target. With the funds raised so far LAA have been able to purchase the aircraft and convert it to meet UK regulations.
Richard Goss and Robin Hallam, from the Aircraft Finance Practice, have been providing ongoing advice to LAA on their financing and purchasing of the second helicopter. They also negotiated the documentation for the purchase and the related financing (provided by Santander) on the charity’s behalf.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have now completed the acquisition of our second MD902 Explorer helicopter.”
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 our daylight flying hours in the summer months, we estimate we will be able to reach a further 400 patients per year by aircraft. This year, we flew longer hours in the summer months for the first time in our history and, as a result, we were able to reach, and treat, a further 67 patients by air.
In 2014, we were awarded £1 million from the LIBOR fund and a further £600,000 was raised from companies, charitable trusts and individual donors. The ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ campaign was then launched in February 2015 in order to raise money to cover the cost of acquiring and sustaining the second helicopter and extending our daylight flying hours for five years.”