Gama Aviation opens base for NHS Scotland

Gama Aviation (LSE: GMAA) said it has opened a new purpose built base at Glasgow airport to support its contract with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS).

The base will house Scotland´s national specialist transport and retrieval service (SCOTSTAR) for critically ill NHS patients and will be the first time anywhere in the UK that all the country´s national retrieval services will operate from a single, central base.

This provides the Scottish government with the huge benefit of being able to combine the external expertise of Gama Aviation with the clinical care of its own services. SCOTSTAR brings together the Scottish Neonatal Service (SNTS), the Transport of Critically Ill and Injured Children Service and the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service, with the SAS, which co-ordinates the teams. The result is a single integrated national service with a sustainable multidisciplinary medical and clinical team, making best use of the range of air and road transport by providing immediate access to specialist aircraft and vehicles.

Gama Aviation has carried out air operations for the SAS since 1993 with its current contract due to run until 2020. The number of flights operated by the company has grown annually — last year Gama Aviation carried out 491 missions out of a total of 2,654 cases to which the SCOTSTAR teams responded.

Gama Aviation Ltd was established in 1983 and has grown organically and through strategic acquisition. In December 2014, Gama Aviation announced a merger (technically a reverse takeover) with Hangar 8 Plc, creating a company with a market capitalization of over GBP130 million. The deal was completed on 6th January 2015, with Gama Aviation Plc becoming the new listed stock.