Norfolk

East Anglian air ambulance contract terminated

East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) has ended a contract with Sterling Aviation who flew two aircraft for the service.

The decision takes immediate effect but the charity said it would continue to have two helicopters in service.

The air ambulance works with emergency services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

A temporary helicopter service will be provided by Bond Air Services until a new contract is awarded, Steve Whitby, deputy chief executive said.

Sterling, who are expected to comment later, had operated helicopters for the air ambulance service from Norwich and Cambridge.

These were grounded in February when Sterling Aviation's air operator's certificate was withdrawn.

The service was suspended after what Sterling described as "operational issues".

Search for operator

Mr Whitby, from EAAA, said: "Our first concern is, and always has been, the people of East Anglia.

"So, whilst we begin the process of finding a new permanent aircraft operator, it is very much business as usual for us.

"We have two helicopters serving the four counties and they continue to provide the same life-saving service."

"We are now beginning to take the formal steps necessary to bring in a new operator and we will do this with the support of our key stakeholders," he added.

The EAAA is working closely with the East of England NHS Ambulance Trust (EEAST) on the tender process to choose a new provider.

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