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Bond to operate new Perth-based charity air ambulance

image captionScotland's Charity Air Ambulance hopes to have the new helicopter operational by the spring

A multi-million pound contract to provide Scotland's first charity-funded helicopter air ambulance has been awarded to Bond Air Services.

The aircraft will be based at Perth airport and will work alongside the two existing Scottish Ambulance Service aircraft.

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) raises funds to cover the cost of both the helicopter and paramedic crew.

It is hoped the new air ambulance will be operational by the spring.

SCAA Chairman John Bullough said that Bond, who currently have the contract for the Scotland's two government-funded helicopter air ambulances, was "the perfect fit" for the charity.

He said: "The Bolkow 105 helicopter has operated in many roles across Scotland for decades and it enjoys an excellent safety record.

"Bond Air Services was invited to tender along with four other aviation providers and proved the most suitable for our specific purpose and role. They also have an excellent safety and availability record which means our life-saving charity can provide the very best and most reliable service possible to the public across Scotland."

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance was established in 2012, based on an Australian model, and requires about £1.5m of funding to maintain the service annually.

The charity works with the Scottish Air Ambulance Service and the new aircraft will be available to respond to routine 999 emergency calls.

Mr Bullough said: "SCAA can't fly without funding and that will be down to each and every one of us in Scotland to get behind the charity and ensure that whenever and wherever tragedy strikes, we have the best possible chance of getting fast, efficient, life-saving resources to the scene.

"The public might need our help tomorrow but we need their help today."

Bond Air Services Managing Director Chris Greenhill said: "We look forward to working hand in hand with the Charity and the Scottish Ambulance Service to deliver an excellent service."

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