The Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG to officially open their Northern Airbase on Monday 9th July.
The Duke of York, Honorary Chief Pilot to the YAA, was welcomed to their new Northern Airbase at RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk where he unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion as well as being shown around their facilities.
Peter Sunderland, Chairman of the YAA commented “We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome His Royal Highness to our Airbase at RAF Topcliffe. It is such a privilege that he has so kindly agreed to visit us whilst he is visiting North Yorkshire, especially as he is also our Honorary Chief Pilot.”
“We have been operational from the base for six months now serving the North and East areas of Yorkshire, and the YAA have seen a significantly increased number of incidents being attended, resulting in growing activity across this area.”
RAF Topcliffe, which is within the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery Allenbrook Barracks on the outskirts of Thirsk, offers the YAA an established airfield and infrastructure in North Yorkshire, providing a stable and long term future for one of their air ambulances and crew members.
Facilities at RAF Topcliffe for the YAA include new operational office facilities, a hangar to house and maintain the air ambulance, and also dedicated accommodation for aircrew.
Mr Sunderland continues “I would also like to use this occasion to formally thank both the RAF and the 4 Regiment Royal Artillery for facilitating our move, and making us most welcome on the base. We are delighted to be able to have secured such a fantastic facility in the North Yorkshire area and look forward to many more years of operational activity from Topcliffe.”
Yorkshire Air Ambulance operates two life-saving helicopters from RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk and Leeds Bradford International Airport. Together they offer a rapid response emergency service across the Yorkshire region 7 days per week, 365 days a year. An independent Charity, the YAA have to raise in excess of £2.6million (£7,200 per day) each year to keep the helicopters flying and to build reserves for the future.