Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance has announced that its new AgustaWestland 169 ambucopter has been formally accepted by the charity at an official handover in Italy.
The handover, which took place on Tuesday, July 5, is the next stage in bringing the state-of-the-art ambucopter to its new base at RAF Waddington.
The new AW169, which will replace the charity’s current MD902 Explorer helicopter, is a top-of-the-range model at the forefront of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operations.
Chief Executive Karen Jobling and joint Chairman of the Board of Trustees Jack O’Hern travelled to Vergiate in Italy to formally accept the AW169, from AgustaWestland.
Karen said: “It has been really amazing to finally see our new ambucopter and to come out to the factory in Italy where it has been built.
“Our pilots have recently been here training and converting onto the AW169, and now seeing it come off the production line we’re looking forward to it flying back to the UK and becoming operational.
“The new helicopter will be in the same emergency yellow as our current helicopter, which the people of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire recognise as their air ambulance.”
Jack said: “This helicopter will be at the forefront of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operations and will enable the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance to provide the best possible critical care to its patients.”
First stop for the new ambucopter is for a custom built medical fit to ensure that all of the state-of-the-art medical equipment is laid out properly, before it is finally delivered to mission headquarters at RAF Waddington later this summer.