Air Ambulances UK

About us

Air Ambulances UK is the national organisation championing and supporting the lifesaving work of the UK’s 21 air ambulance charities.

Our vision is that together we will ensure the best possible chance of survival and patient outcome for everyone in need of lifesaving pre-hospital care.

We continually strive towards this by providing vital national funding to air ambulance charities, increasing awareness of their lifesaving work, advocating on key issues and policies affecting the delivery of their services, helping to enable advancements in patient care, providing a collective voice and enabling the exchange of information and knowledge across the air ambulance sector.

We are achieving this in collaboration with our members, generous individual, corporate and grant donors as well as our strategic partnerships.

Together, we are making a real difference by enabling  air ambulance charities to save even more lives and remain at the forefront of pre-hospital care, helping to reduce loss of life in people with life-threatening injuries or a medical emergency.


  • Air ambulances bring the hospital to the patient, equipped with advanced clinical skills, enhanced medications, and hospital-level equipment.

  • In the UK, there are 37 air ambulance helicopters operated by 21 individual air ambulance charities.

  • Each air ambulance charity typically has around four critical care cars or rapid response vehicles.

  • The average response time for air ambulances to arrive on scene is just 16 minutes.

  • The average cost of a helicopter mission is £4,110* and the average cost of a critical care car or rapid response vehicle mission is £2,054*.

  • London’s Air Ambulance crew made history in 1993 by performing the world’s first successful pre-hospital open-heart surgery at the roadside.

  • Taking to the skies in 1987, Cornwall Air Ambulance was the first air ambulance in the UK.

  • Taking to the skies in 2017, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland is the youngest air ambulance charity with their first tasking on 22nd July 2017.

  • Air ambulance charities in the UK are primarily funded by charitable donations and are not part of the NHS (National Health Service).

  • To safely land a helicopter, an air ambulance pilot requires at least a landing area of approximately 35×17 meters square.

Did you know?

Air ambulance charities collectively make over 126 lifesaving missions a day across the UK

Each mission is funded almost entirely by donations


  • To inspire national engagement and support

    We will inspire commitment to the sector through raising funds, generating support and increasing national awareness of our cause.

  • To advance patient care

    We will support and champion research and good practice in the sector by the delivery of projects and sharing of learning to improve patient outcomes.

  • To be a collective voice

    We will become the trusted, national collective voice of the sector among central government, peer organisations, media and the public.

  • To maximise sector impact

    We will deliver funding which enables air ambulance charity development and become the leading central hub of mutual information exchange, support and advice for the community.

  • To achieve organisational excellence

    We will achieve the highest standards of governance and compliance, ensure financial sustainability and will nurture our team, as well as demonstrate our impact.



General Enquiries

Correspondence to:

Air Ambulances UK
International House | 126 Colmore Row
Birmingham | B3 3AP