The contract, awarded after a competitive process, will see Babcock providing exclusive aviation support including advanced helicopters, ground support, engineering and pilots and includes the imminent introduction of 24/7 flying for the charity. Options for additional years would see Babcock’s role as EAAA’s exclusive aviation partner, which started 10 years ago, continue into 2031.
Director Babcock Onshore, Hayley Belmore, said: “This news cements Babcock’s position as the UK’s leading provider of specialist air ambulance operations and means Babcock and EAAA will work together for many more years to further improve the way air ambulances provide emergency medical support to people in urgent need.”
EAAA to provide 24/7 care from June
EAAA, with support from Babcock, was the first UK air ambulance to introduce the advanced H145 helicopter – piloted for them by HRH the Duke of Cambridge. They also pioneered the UK’s first night Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operations to un-surveyed HEMS sites with Babcock pilots flying with specialist night-vision goggles. In June, EAAA will become the first air ambulance in the East of England to provide critical care by helicopter 24/7, a crucial part of the charity’s long-term strategy to provide the same level of service, day and night, in order to help more people.
Looking ahead, Babcock aims to help the charity take the next significant step forward in technology for air ambulances as they become the first in the UK to operate with a new five-blade upgrade on their helicopters – the H145D3.
Matthew Jones, Director of Operations at EAAA, said: “In the 10 years we have partnered with Babcock, we have been impressed with their commitment to safe and increasingly effective air ambulance operations. This new contract means we can continue to work together to deliver, and improve, the critical emergency response we are proud to offer to the people of East Anglia. We’re really pleased to have been able to time this contract with the start of our 24/7 helicopter operations, which will be a huge step forward for the charity and the service we provide to our local communities. It wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic support from Babcock and its teams.”