Air Ambulance can now fly into the night

MORE lives could be saved across the region after Yorkshire Air Ambulance was given permission to start night-time operations.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given the service Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) approval to extend its flying hours.

This means the charity, which operates two fully night capable Airbus H145 helicopters, will now be available to respond to incidents from 6am until midnight during the week, and to 10pm on weekends initially.

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Captain Andy Lister, YAA Director of Aviation, said: “This really is a great move forward in the operational developments of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Our pilots and crews have worked extremely hard over the last few months to undertake and learn the processes involved in NVIS flying.

“I am very proud of them and know we have taken another major step in providing the best possible service for the people of Yorkshire.”

Crews wearing the latest generation night-vision goggles will now respond to incidents.

Captain Lister added: “The YAA will commence NVIS operations with immediate effect.

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“Now we have CAA approval, our crews will be operational for longer periods each day, which will be particularly beneficial in the winter months, when darkness falls much quicker.

“A number of our paramedics have been trained and we expect to have everyone approved for NVIS operations by the end of October when we will become a fully night-capable operator.”