London Air Ambulance switches to RAF Northolt to save time and fuel

London Air Ambulance helicopter

London Air Ambulance helicopter - Credit: London Air Ambulance charity

London’s Air Ambulance helicopter is moving its overnight HQ to a military base from the Home Counties to cut journey times and costs getting to and from hospital each day.

The charity that flies advanced trauma teams from the Royal London in Whitechapel to critically-injured people anywhere within the M25 motorway is switching from Denham airfield in Buckinghamshire to RAF Northolt.

The relocation of its ‘Explorer’ helicopter—the quietest in its class—to Northolt reduces flight time reaching Whitechapel, saving on fuel costs for the cash-strapped charity that keeps the service in the air.

RAF Northolt is several miles closer to east London than Denham and the direct helicopter route will save three minutes’ flying time at the beginning and end of each day, reducing overall fuel consumption. The charity has also secured a deal with BP on fuel.

Northolt is also closer to sea level which reduces the impact of adverse weather conditions such as low cloud that sometimes grounds the helicopter in the higher ground of the Buckinghamshire countryside.