5-May-2022 Source: HeliHub.com
Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA), based at RAF Benson near Oxford, have purchased an Airbus EC135T2+ helicopter as part of their move to a new operating model.
After the end of their current contract with Babcock MCS Onshore this autumn, TVAA will start operations on their own account under a newly-issued Air Operations Certificate (AOC). By moving away from Babcock, they will no longer have use of the current EC135T3 that they fly now, and have thus had a requirement to source an aircraft. With no T3 model available with an air ambulance installation,
The list of AOC holders on the UK Civil Aviation Authority website [issued 1 April 2022] does not yet include Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
The EC135 which has been purchased was previously flown by Devon Air Ambulance (DAA), and is seen in the images here from the DAA Facebook page. It has been stored by DAA since November 2020 when it was replaced by a larger H145 at their Exeter Airport base. The newly purchased aircraft will see a number of avionic and airframe changes, which we expect will include an upgrade to T3 status, a repaint and a new registration.
A Thames Valley Air Ambulance spokesperson said “As part of our long-term aviation strategy, we have recently purchased an EC135T2+ from Devon Air Ambulance. This helicopter will become our primary aircraft in September 2022. Before it becomes part of our fleet of vehicles, it will undergo various avionic and airframe upgrades to update the aircraft and enable us to continue delivering the same high level of patient care.”
TVAA cover the UK counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. More information on their website.