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New helicopter unveiled for Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance

The new EC 135 will operate out of Perth Airport and fly across the country to save lives.

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance new helicopter at Perth base. Free to use quality news image from Perth Picture Agency. Uploaded on October 30 2015.
Perth Picture Agency

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance has unveiled a new set of wings to help it save lives across the country.

The Perth-based service, which is the country's only charity funded helicopter, has upgraded its aircraft after two and a half years.

The new helicopter was unveiled at Perth Airport by health minister Shona Robison and Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) chairman John Bullough.

It is an EC 135 model and takes the place of the UK's last Bolkow 105 in air ambulance service.

In just over two years the SCAA Bolkow responded to more than 850 call outs from the Highland and Islands to the Borders.

Mr Bullough said: "It will increase our operating hours and also flies in cloud and flies in inclement weather which is really important in Scotland.

"It's a massive improvement in our capability which we assess to be up 50%, which is 50% more lives potentially saved, which is great for SCAA but even better for Scotland."

The EC 135, above, is faster and more powerful than the Bolkow

Ms Robison added: "It adds important resilience to the rest of the helicopters run by the Scottish Ambulance Service and is able to ensure we have that additional resilience to save lives and undoubtedly it has saved lives."

The new helicopter is expected to be fully operational in the next two weeks.

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