Kent Air Ambulance night flights set to take off
Kent Air Ambulance is launching night
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
The air ambulance is aiming to save even more lives by launching
night flights - but will need an extra million pounds a year to
keep them going.
The new service, which has been the dream of Kent Air Ambulance
chiefs for many years, is expected to take off in April.
A new helicopter specially designed for night flying will be
based at Redhill, Surrey, to serve Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It will
operate between 7pm and 7am.
The service does not yet have permission to fly at night from
its Marden headquarters, but it is possible a second night-flight
helicopter could be based there in a few years'
Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance spokeswoman Jill Playle
said Redhill was centrally placed. "From Redhill, we can get to
anywhere in the region within 30 minutes," she said.
More pilots, doctors, paramedics and call centre staff are being
taken on to provide the new service.
The air ambulance costs £5million a year to run, most of it
raised by donations and numerous fund-raising activities.
Ms Playle said night flights would increase costs to £6m. The
South East Lions Club had pledged £250,000 over the next 10 years
to the new service "and hopefully business will also step up to the
Meanwhile, the air ambulance is about to launch a new blood
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