A motion has been lodged in parliament backing plans to bring a new charity air ambulance to Aberdeen – and it has already won support across the political divide.
Last month, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) unfurled plans to raise £6million for a new life-saving helicopter and calls were quickly made to base it in the Granite City.
The campaign has since taken flight, with charities and businesses across the region getting behind it.
MSP for the Orkney Islands, Liam McArthur, believes the benefits of the copter receiving a north berth would reach as far as his constituency and Shetland – as it would free up the Scottish Ambulance Service’s machine at Inverness to make more trips to the islands.
And Mr McArthur has now lodged a motion calling for his colleagues across Holyrood to show their support for the campaign.
The Liberal Democrat politician’s motion calls for MSPs to “recognise that, since the existing charity air ambulance was launched in 2013, it has responded to over 1,700 call-outs”.
And it states: “A helicopter based in Aberdeen should provide similar advantages in future.”
Labour MSP for the North East, Lewis Macdonald is among those who have signed their approval of the message.
Last night, Mr Macdonald said that he has recently encountered many health workers who are “enthusiastic” about the prospect of bringing the charity air ambulance to Aberdeen.
He said: “Scotland’s first major trauma centre will be established at Foresterhill later this year and it would be fantastic if SCAA could support that by raising funds to deploy a second helicopter, based in Aberdeen.
“That would allow emergency patients to be collected from right across the area and the Highlands and Islands, and taken straight to the best available treatment at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary or the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
“Scotland’s first major trauma centre would be the ideal place for a new air ambulance to serve, and I look forward to the day that aircraft first touches down at Foresterhill.”
Conservative politicians Murdo Fraser, Annie Wells, Edward Mountain, Donald Cameron, Tom Mason and Alexander Burnett have all endorsed the motion.
Liberal Democrat, Alex Cole-Hamilton, and Labour’s Jackie Baillie have also pledged their support.
The SNP’s minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart, added: “I am supportive of the campaign for a second air ambulance and see the great benefit of basing it in Aberdeen.”