‘Magnificent milestone’ as Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust to buy £6 million helicopter

Medical Aviation Services managing director Henk Schaeken, second from left, with Essex and Herts Ai

Medical Aviation Services managing director Henk Schaeken, second from left, with Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust operations director Cliff Gale, trustees chairman Rob Forsyth and chief executive Jane Gurney. - Credit: Archant

It’s a £6 million step forward for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust – for the first time in its 20-year history the lifesaving charity is buying its own helicopter.

Chair of trustees Rob Forsyth has signed a contract with aircraft operator Medical Aviation Services for the purchase and operation of the £6 million Agusta Westland AW169 – the preferred machine for emergency medical service operations.

A 10-year contract to lease an MD902 Explorer has also been approved, with the charity set to take delivery of both aircraft early next year.

They will take to the skies next summer, when the leases on its current aircraft finish.

The new deal has been funded thanks to support from people and businesses in the two counties, and a £1.5m government grant.

Mr Forsyth said: “We simply couldn’t have reached this magnificent milestone were it not for the tremendous support we receive from people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire. The AW169 will truly be their aircraft.”