- 11 updates
The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance returned to normal flight operations at 7.30pm last night after it was grounded for safety concerns with its fuel indication system. A number of EC135 air ambulances were grounded on Thursday by Bond Air Services to undertake technical investigations .
Mark McGeown, chief executive of the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, said: 'We fully believe that the safety of patients and air ambulance staff is the number one priority. Obviously we are pleased to be able to resume normal operations.
'I would like to thank our colleagues in the South Central Ambulance Service and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance for helping us maintain our emergency cover during these last few days.'
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has been given the all clear to resume flying.
It and other services were grounded for safety checks in light of the crash in Glasgow.
The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the Thames Valley and Chiltern have yet to resume their services.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight has now been cleared to fly
It follows a partial suspension of the UK's air ambulance fleet due to a discovery of a technical fault.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that patients should not be affected by the grounding of air ambulances:
The partial suspension of the UK's air ambulance fleet is due to a discovery of a technical fault discovered on one, the Association of Air Ambulances said.
We have confirmed that 16 air ambulance helicopters, operated by Bond Air Services, are covered by the suspension.
The 16 air ambulances operate in the following areas:
- Dorset and Somerset
- East Anglia
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight
- The Midlands
- The North West (three helicopters suspended)
- Scotland (two helicopters)
- Thames Valley and the Chilterns
- Wales (three helicopters)
Cornwall has an EC135 helicopter, but it is being serviced and a replacement is in operation. Devon has an EC135 but it is not operated by Bond Air Services, so it is still flying.
The company that has grounded part of its helicopter fleet is believed to have operated the police helicopter that crashed in Glasgow last month.
According to media reports, Bond Air Services operated the EC135 helicopter on behalf of Police Scotland and employed the pilot who died in the incident.
The company confirmed to ITV News that it has grounded its UK fleet of EC135 aircraft after a "defect" was detected in one of them.
A statement on its website said the firm is "committed by law to ensuring that the proper compensation is paid to all those who have suffered loss" in the incident.
A statement from Bond Air Services said: "During normal operations yesterday, one of our EC135 fleet has experienced an indication defect that requires further technical investigation.
"Therefore as a precautionary measure we have temporarily suspended service operations whilst we undertake detailed diagnosis.
"We commenced investigations overnight, are continuing this morning and are in close liaison with Eurocopter regarding this investigation."
The helicopters that have been grounded are all of the EC135 model, which are widely used by emergency services.
The model was used by the following air ambulance services:
- Dorset & Somerset
- East Anglian
- Hampshire & Isle Of Wight
- Midlands Air Ambulance
Bond Air Services says it has temporarily grounded 38 EC135-model helicopters globally after discovering a "defect", Reuters reports.