A new emergency helicopter for Scotland will be based in Aberdeen, it has been announced.
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) said it is expected to help save and improve the lives of hundreds of people each year.
It adds to the three air ambulances currently in Scotland, with an SCAA one operating out of Perth Airport and two Scottish Government-funded helicopters based in Glasgow and Inverness.
It is part of a £6 million drive to secure an enhanced life-saving service in the country. The SCAA hopes to launch the service by late 2019.
Health Minister Jeane Freeman said: “Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance carries out great work across Scotland, helping to save and improve lives every day.
“A second SCAA helicopter will make a huge difference.
“It is crucial that we ensure the most severely injured patients have the best chance of a speedy recovery from their injuries.”
Scottish Ambulance Service chairman Tom Steele said: “This is wonderful news, not only for Grampian and the North-east, but for the whole of Scotland.
“SCAA has been a very important partner since 2013 when they provided their first helicopter air ambulance, based in Perth.
“Since then it has flown almost 2,000 emergency missions and undoubtedly has saved many lives across Scotland’s rural and remote areas.”
Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur said: “This move to increase the capacity of the air ambulance service is excellent news. The fact that the second charity helicopter is to be based in Aberdeen makes a lot of sense and hopefully will help improve response times across the north of the country.”