Great North Air Ambulance

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Great North Air Ambulance
The Great North Air Ambulance (GNAAS) Pride of Cumbria aircraft (G-NHAB).jpg
The Pride of Cumbria aircraft (G-NHAB) based in Langwathby, near Penrith, Cumbria
TypeCharitable organisation
Area served
North Yorkshire, the North-East, Cumbria and Scottish borders.
Aircraft operated
Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin N2 & N3
Revenue (2020)
£8.3 million[3]
Staff (2020)
Volunteers (2020)

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) is a registered charity based in the United Kingdom. It operates a dedicated helicopter emergency service for the North of England with three aircraft, serving North Yorkshire, the North-East, Cumbria and Scottish borders.


GNAAS operates three helicopters from its two bases at Langwathby near Penrith in Cumbria, Eaglescliffe in County Durham, and a forward operating base at Newcastle International Airport.[2] All three aircraft were introduced into service during 2010 and 2011 are owned by the charity, previous aircraft being leased. All three helicopters are Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin N2 models registered as:[4] G-NHAA, G-NHAB and G-NHAC, and were built in 1991, 1991 and 1996 respectively.[5] The latter acts as a back-up helicopter, working from either of the two bases as and when required. G-NHAA is named Guardian of the North. G-NHAB is named Pride of Cumbria. To mitigate the risk of flying older aircraft, in 2019 the charity bought a AS365 Dauphin N3, registration G-NHAD, named Guardian of the North II, which was built in 2015.[5][6] It is now operational at the Eaglescliffe base.

In hours of darkness, when the helicopters do not fly, North East Ambulance Service funds a Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT),[7] which is staffed by a doctor and paramedic team from GNAAS.[8] The MERIT service extended in November 2018 to cover Thursday to Sunday Nights, which were previously covered on an on-call basis.[9] The service uses Volvo XC90 vehicles.[6]

In 2014/15, GNAAS had operating costs of £4.6 million and an income of £6.2 million.[10] In 2019/20, the operating costs had increased to £5.7 million against an income of £8.3 million, which included a total of £336,000 from government contracts and grants.[3]

In the media[edit]

From 8 March 2018, the charity appeared on Channel 4's TV programme Emergency Helicopter Medics, which followed the crews responding and treating emergency patients.[11] Other air ambulances that featured in the show include Thames Valley Air Ambulance and East Anglian Air Ambulance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History". Great North Air Ambulance Service. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "The bases". Great North Air Ambulance Service. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "Charity Overview: Great North Air Ambulance Service". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Aviation News, read all the latest aviation news". Multiflight. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012.[failed verification]
  5. ^ a b "G-INFO search". Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom). Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b "The Great North Air Ambulance Service Trustees' report and financial statements" (PDF). Charity Commission for England and Wales. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT) Communication Briefing" (PDF). NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG). 1 February 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  8. ^ "New all-night response unit proving its MERIT - North East Ambulance Service - NHS Foundation Trust". (Press release). 11 July 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Patients benefit from all-night service" (Press release). Great North Air Ambulance. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Where your money goes". Great North Air Ambulance. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  11. ^ "East Anglian Air Ambulance to star in new TV documentary" (Press release). East Anglian Air Ambulance. 5 April 2018. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.

External links[edit]