DEVON Air Ambulance Trust is now independent
DEVON Air Ambulance Trust is now completely independent and self-sufficient.
The charity, through operating arm Devon Air Ambulance Training Company Limited has been awarded their own Air Operators Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority, something that, until now, the charity have previously had to rely on other agencies to hold and operate on their behalf.
Nigel Hare, operations director of Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said: ‘The CAA only award this to an organisation once they have clearly demonstrated that they meet all the stringent operating and safety competencies needed to run a commercial air transport service.
‘We are proud our service is delivered without charge to the patients that we treat in their time of need. However, aviation legislation regards a patient as a ‘commercial passenger’ and the awarding of our operators certificate recognises that we have developed and operate at the same high quality required by any commercial airline.’
‘One increased benefit is the mandatory post of our own flight operations director, which we have had to source from other agencies, until now.
‘We welcome Ian Payne to this role, former head of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Air Support Unit, who can now be dedicated to developing the air ambulance service.
‘We are also transferring the provision of pilots to in-house so we now have our own five pilot team to fly our two air ambulances.’
Chief executive Heléna Holt added: ‘To be wholly independent is very important to the charity.
‘We believe this is the right way to take the service, as it enables us to be in charge of our own destiny. We can future proof and further develop the service, meaning that we are constantly looking at how we can make Devon’s air ambulances the best fit possible to the community and county we serve.
‘None of this would be possible without the support received and funds raised by the community as a whole.’