Air ambulance fleet ‘fully operational’ again

The North West Air Ambulance in action

The North West Air Ambulance in action

All three North West Air Ambulance helicopters are back in action after being grounded amid safety concerns.

The aircraft – the same model that crashed into the Clutha bar in Glasgow, killing 10 people – were suspended from service on advice from operator Bond Air Services after a fuel indicator fault was found on one of its fleet of 22 EC135 helicopters.

On Thursday, North West Air Ambulance confirmed its aircraft had been grounded as a “precautionary measure”.

One was cleared to fly again the next day but two remained grounded over the weekend while work was carried out.

On Sunday evening, the charity posted a statement on Twitter saying: “Following work on two of our aircraft yesterday, we can confirm that our full fleet is now operational.”

The National Police Air Service, which has a base at Warton that is used to support Lancashire Police, did not suspend any of its helicopters.

Chief Superintendent Ian Whitehouse, NPAS chief operating officer, said on Thursday: “Safety is the number one priority for the National Police Air Service.

“Our decision on whether or not to suspend operations or ground any NPAS aircraft is based on advice issued by the Civil Aviation Authority - the UK’s aviation regulator and original equipment manufacturers.

“We remain, as ever, in constant communication with the CAA and other partners in the aviation industry.

“There is currently no notice in place from the CAA or the original equipment manufacturers to ground any aircraft and so we have not done so. If such a notice is put in place then we would immediately and carefully consider it.”

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