Sterling Helicopters “operational issues” temporarily ground East Anglian Air Ambulance

Sterling Helicopters “operational issues” temporarily ground East Anglian Air Ambulance 20 Feb, 11, Source: East Anglian Air Ambulance

The East Anglian Air Ambulance has activated a contingency plan due to operational issues with the current supplier of its aircraft, Sterling Aviation. Sterling is temporarily unable to provide the EAAA with an air ambulance service, so, as an interim measure the charity will continue to operate using alternative aircraft from a different supplier, Bond Air Services.

The charity has taken this step to ensure the continuation of the service provided by both Anglia One and Anglia Two (based in Norwich and Cambridge Airport respectively) but will involve the EAAA using different aircraft. This is because of a procedural issue and, in the short term, the helicopters will not be EAAA branded.

The alternative aircraft are expected to be fully operational from Sunday 20th February and will continue to transport the same highly trained doctors and paramedics across the four counties in the same way as Anglia One and Anglia Two.

The EAAA’s partners at Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) and the East of England NHS Ambulance Trust are fully aware and supportive of move it’s made to ensure the continuity of its service.

Deputy Chief Executive of the EAAA Steve Whitby said: “Although the current situation with Sterling Aviation is extremely regrettable we have quickly activated our contingency plan to ensure a smooth handover to a new contractor as an interim measure. Of course, our main concern is that the charity continues to provide a first class air ambulance service to the people of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. Thanks to a strong contingency plan and excellent team work within EAAA and our partners we will achieve this. The only change the people of East Anglia will notice is the colour of our helicopters – which will be red and not EAAA branded. We will be fully operational from both EAAA bases from Sunday 20th February. This would have been achieved sooner but for adverse weather conditions which stopped all air ambulance activity in East Anglia today.”

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