Earlier this week Gama Aviation started operating Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) from its new base at Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP) as part of its £50 million, three-year Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) contract extension.
Gama Aviation has invested around £20m in three new Airbus H145 helicopters, with two of the three air aircraft entering service this week. Also entering service are a highly experienced pilot and engineering support team from the new, £1m purpose-built facility at Inverness Airport. The Inverness facility complements Gama Aviation’s investments in Glasgow and Aberdeen, providing the infrastructure support to improve air/ground patient transitions and maintain aircraft availability across fixed wing and rotary operations.
Group Chief Executive Marwan Khalek said: “We are delighted to have brought together all flight operations for the Scottish Ambulance Service under our direct control and to have commenced HEMS operations using our fleet of new helicopters in Scotland. It is the product of 18 months hard work and demonstrates our ability to effectively and efficiently deliver our clients’ mission requirements within precise parameters. We look forward to greater participation in the UK rotary market.”
SAS Chief Executive Pauline Howie commented: “Gama Aviation has delivered consistent, high-quality service for nearly three decades with the Scottish Ambulance Service as part of our emergency pre-hospital care response. Bringing fast medical care to patients as well as quick life-saving transport to hospital, these helicopters will continue to support the whole of Scotland when needed during these difficult times and into the future.”
IABP Chairman James Campbell added: “Gama Aviation are the eighth occupier at IABP and their arrival highlights our continued expansion on the back of the recent announcements with Enercon Services UK, SLD Pumps & Power, Courtyard by Marriott and Network Rail. We will continue to work in close partnership with Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) to promote this vibrant region and attract inward investment from the aviation sector”.
Gama Aviation’s investment within the HEMS market represents a strategic shift towards the special mission rotary market, an area that is complementary to its existing fixed wing special mission capability. Current special mission clients include air ambulance, law enforcement and defence agencies.
Associated Media Coverage: Press & Journal – see article