Leeds firm lands emergency helicopter contract

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AN aviation firm based at Leeds-Bradford International Airport has been awarded a new five-year contract to run the helicopters for an air ambulance service.

Private aviation company Multiflight has managed, crewed and maintained the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) helicopters since early 2010.

The firm has also supplied the charity with two white, green and yellow Dauphin Eurocopter AS 365 N2 helicopters.

Steve Borrowdale, Multiflight’s managing director, said: “Multiflight is delighted to be awarded the new five-year GNAAS contract and to be the company chosen to continue managing, crewing and maintaining the aircraft that the charity has purchased through us.

“GNAAS provides a valuable service and Multiflight is pleased to be able to help and support the charity.”

Kevin Hodgson, GNAAS’s director of operations, said: “The Great North Air Ambulance Service has been very impressed with Multiflight’s management, maintenance and team of helicopter pilots over the last year and we are looking forward to the next five years.”

The Great North Air Ambulance Service is based in Darlington, while Yorkshire Air Ambulance operates out of Leeds-Bradford International Airport.

The maintenance contract for the Yorkshire charity’s two helicopters expires this autumn and it has been suggested that the charity may also move from its current provider to go with Multiflight.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance has confirmed that it is “exploring options” for a new contract but no decision on the service provider has been announced.

* At Prime Minister’s questions this week, a West Yorkshire MP raised the question of whether Yorkshire Air Ambulance should pay VAT on its fuel.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Jason McCartney (Cons, Colne Valley) compared the charity to the RNLI, which is exempt from paying VAT.

David Cameron replied that while the European Union VAT directive makes an exemption for lifeboats, there’s no equivalent exemption for other charities.

Jess Carmichael.

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