Yorkshire Air Ambulance to operate from new base from next summer

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is abandoning the base it has had at Leeds-Bradford Airport since its inception because of growing demands on airspace.

The charity said take-offs and landings at the airport were being delayed by increasing air traffic.

Its helicopter, which has been based at the airport since 2000, will fly from a new base on the Nostell Estate in Wakefield from next summer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In a statement the charity said: “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s will continue to provide a state-of-the-art rapid response helicopter emergency medical service across the region every day of every year.”

It follows a planning application to Wakefield Council to convert the vacant Nostell Priory Roses Building at the site, off Doncaster Road.

Under the plans, an empty warehouse will be turned into a hangar to keep the helicopter overnight, and a landing pad, fuel area and office space will be created, with a canteen and rest areas for up to five crew members.

In the design and access statement, agent David Boulton, of Carter Jonas, said the current two bases provided inadequate coverage across the region, with airspace demands at Leeds-Bradford adding 10 minutes to both take-off and landing times.

He said: “This proposal would provide a long-term base which would have a notable and positive impact.”

A second base at RAF Topcliffe, near Thirsk, will be maintained.

The charity’s statement added: “The charity had been looking to further enhance the service it currently provides across the region, and the Nostell Priory Roses Building was identified as a potential new location for the airbase.

“The helicopter will be relocated from its existing base at Leeds-Bradford International Airport while the second air ambulance continues to operate from its base at RAF Topcliffe in North Yorkshire. The charity will operate from the new base at Nostell in daylight hours only, as specified by Civil Aviation Authority guidelines, and hopes to be operational by summer 2013.”