The new helicopter hangar for the Anglia Two aircraft is next to the charity’s operational base and will mean that the aircraft no longer needs to be towed across the airport at the start and end of each shift, a process which has been taking 15 minutes each way. This means the lifesaving crews, which cover Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, will be online an extra half an hour each day, providing an extra 180 hours of potential flying time every year as a result of building the hangar.
Matthew Jones, Director of Operations at EAAA said: “Half an hour of extra flight time a day may not seem like a huge increase, but we’re really pleased to have been able to construct this new hangar to give us the maximum response time possible. That half an hour could make a huge difference to someone who needs our help and be the difference between life or death in some situations. Having a designated hangar next to the base will also be of huge benefit to our pilots during periods of bad weather and will cut down immensely on their workload at the start and end of the day, meaning they can focus more on being online and ready to respond to an emergency.”
Strengthening the lifesaving operation
Due to the future changes coming up at the airport, the hangar had to be movable and able to be dismantled and rebuilt in a different location in the future, if required. EAAA has been operating one of its yellow helicopters from Cambridge Airport since 2007. In 2016, the charity upgraded and relocated its Cambridge operating base further airside at the airport; however, this did not include moving the aircraft hangar as well.
Now, the charity is pleased to have been able to realize its long-term ambition of building a designated aircraft hangar next to the Cambridge operating base, providing multiple benefits for the lifesaving crews and strengthening the lifesaving operation at Cambridge to better serve Cambridgeshire and the surrounding counties.