Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, enjoyed a tour of the purpose-built facility and the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance’s new Leonardo AW169 helicopter before unveiling a plaque at the site.
After speaking to supporters, volunteers, staff and crew during his tour, he told the gathered guests: “It is thanks to supporters and volunteers like you that this service can continue to carry out the work it does and operate from such a fantastic facility.”
And past patient Joshua Marriott told those present: “If it wasn’t for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance crew, I would not be here today.
“They scooped me up off the side of the road after a motorcycle accident and got me to hospital.”
The new purpose-built home, adjacent to RAF Waddington on the A15 Sleaford Road, near Lincoln, sees staff, crew, the helicopter and critical care cars under one roof for the very first time, alongside a new helipad.
Karen Jobling, charity chief executive officer, said: “We were honoured to have the Earl of Wessex officially open our new building.
“He recognised, as we do, that our new HQ isn’t just a building, it’s the first time all of our staff and crew have come together under one roof after 27 years on separate sites.
“The new facility enables us to expand and further develop our critical care service, invite past patients and their families to meet the crew who attended to them and somewhere our generous supporters can come to see first-hand what we do.”
The AW169 is now being put through its paces while clinician training takes place.
Llewis Ingamells, LNAA chief pilot, said: “While our new AW169 looks strikingly similar to our previous one, this is the latest generation from Leonardo Helicopters.
“There are a host of changes underneath the familiar yellow paint scheme which make this the most capable helicopter LNAA have ever operated, including a truly state-of-the-art medical interior capable of undertaking true critical care transfers.”