- Total raised:
London buys us a 2nd helicopter
Thursday 1st October 2015
- We have acquired a second emergency medical helicopter, a MD902 Explorer
- It has been registered G-LNDN and is expected to be operational early 2016 The fundraising total to date of our ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ campaign is just over £4 million
This is thanks to the generosity of the people and organisations in London
- Donations from organisations, companies and the public are still needed to reach the £6 million target to keep the aircraft in the air for five years
- The largest pledge to date is from the London Freemasons, who have committed to donate £2 million
We have now acquired a second emergency medical helicopter thanks to generous contributions from the people and organisations of London. The used MD902 Explorer, which is now registered as G-LNDN, is targeted to be operational in early 2016.
Following the launch our ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ fundraising campaign seven months ago, a total of just over £4 million has been raised to date, with just under £2 million still needed to reach the £6 million target. This support has allowed us to acquire the aircraft and it will cover the costs of converting the helicopter to meet UK regulations. However, more money is still needed to fund associated running costs of operating the second aircraft and extending our summer daylight flying hours for five years.
Graham Hodgkin, Chief Executive Officer at London’s Air Ambulance, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have now completed the acquisition of our second MD902 Explorer helicopter. While more money still needs to be raised and there is still more work to do to get the aircraft ready for UK HEMS operations, this is a truly exciting development for London and the biggest step-change in our service resilience in the charity’s history. Thank you to all those who have already contributed. We will continue to fundraise towards our ultimate target and ask everyone to help in any way they can. Anyone can donate, either online at yourhelicopter.london, or by texting HELICOPTER to 70800 to donate £5.”
Through the acquisition of a second helicopter and by extending our daylight flying hours in the summer months, we estimate we will be able to reach a further 400 patients per year by aircraft. This year, we flew longer hours in the summer months for the first time in our history and, as a result, we were able to reach, and treat, a further 67 patients by air.
In 2014, we were awarded £1 million from the LIBOR fund and a further £600,000 was raised from companies, charitable trusts and individual donors. The ‘Your London, Your Helicopter’ campaign was then launched in February 2015 in order to raise money to cover the cost of acquiring and sustaining the second helicopter and extending our daylight flying hours for five years.
Donations have been received widely from the people and organisations of London towards the campaign. The largest pledge to date is from the London Freemasons who have promised £2 million. Significant donations have also been received from BlackRock, Khoo Teck Puat UK Foundation and the Westminster Foundation. Hogan Lovells provided pro-bono legal work for the helicopter acquisition. Santander UK structured a comprehensive financing package to partially fund the acquisition over five years.
Donations from organisations, companies and the public are still needed to reach the £6 million target to keep it in the air for five years.
Photo by Jon Le Ray.