Air Ambulances Operational Despite Temporary Suspension of Flying
The UK air ambulance fleet has been partially grounded following Bond Air Services precautionary safety measure affecting 16 Eurocopter EC135. The grounding is as a result of a technical fault on one air ambulance aircraft with other Eurocopter EC135 in the UK and worldwide remaining operational at this time. The suspension of operations is not as a result of the incident in Glasgow involving this type of aircraft on the 29th November, for which investigations continue.
Bond Air Services are continuing to investigate the technical fault that has resulted in the temporary suspension of services from the afternoon of the 11th December 2013. The investigations include functional testing across each of the EC135 aircraft affected to gather more information and will ensure air ambulance operations are regularly updated.
Air ambulance services across the UK have been partially affected with mutual aid agreements and joint interoperability programs now in action by the ambulance services that task air ambulances in the UK. These programs will access other air ambulances from the fleet of 36 aircraft across the UK to ensure the service is operational. This does not include other air assets such as Search and Rescue Aircraft or other transportation systems that allow the fast deployment of Critical Care Teams.
Clive Dickin, National Director commented.
“The safety of the aircrew and general public is of primary importance and we are supporting Bond Air Services and Eurocopter who are working closely together to investigate and resolve the technical problem.”
“Aircraft of all types occasionally are grounded for bad weather or routine maintenance. In these circumstances other air ambulances and ambulance service providers work closely to ensure no patients are affected. Obviously when an extremely rare incident like this happens stresses can be placed on the services and however these contingencies are planned for.”