Air ambulance needs night landing site in Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 06:30 28 April 2016

Archant

The Devon Air Ambulance Trust is seeking places in Exmouth where its helicopter can land after dark, as it prepares to begin flying at night.

The trust is to start flying until midnight from October, as it builds towards its long-term ambition of a 24-hour service.

The trust’s community helipads development officer, Toby Russell, told Exmouth Town Council that helipads are community assets, which are funded and managed by the local community.

A night-time helipad needs to measure 50 metres by 50 metres, with access for land ambulances.

Mr Russell said that the cost of a helipad can vary depending on whether communities are able to adapt existing lighting. Where this is possible, the cost is between £600 and £700, whereas for a fresh site the cost is around £5,000, with installation costs on top. A site with solar panels can cost around £10,000.

Having heard the options, town councillors agreed to set up a working party to consider sites.

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “I don’t think anybody would disagree that we urgently need to find landing sites.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Russell added that initially the trust would want to get one good site up and running, but that Exmouth could have two in future.

He said that due to the size of site required, most viable options would be fairly apparent, but added that he was happy to hear ideas or expressions of interest by email to t.russell@daat.org

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