Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) welcomes new head of APPG

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) played host to Pete Wishart MP on his first visit to an operational base in his new role as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Air Ambulances UK.

SCAA’s home base and headquarters at Perth Airport are familiar territory for the Perth and North Perthshire MP, but he stressed his new role allowed him to view the life-saving charity with fresh eyes.


Pete Wishart APPGAA Visiting SCAA

“I was keen that my first base visit should be to SCAA whose headquarters sit within my constituency and whose progress and success I have followed closely over the years,” he said. “Indeed, it was my admiration for SCAA that encouraged me to take on this new role.

SCAA is a remarkable life-saving charity and provides a critical service throughout Scotland. It exemplifies the amazing work being carried out by charity-funded air ambulances across the UK – a network of dedicated charities that have become indispensable as a critical element of our national emergency pre-hospital care.”


SCAA was launched in service in 2013 with one Bolkow 105 aircraft based at Perth.

Since then it has grown to become a two-base (Perth and Aberdeen), two aircraft (EC 135) and two customised Rapid Response Vehicle (BMW X5) service, operating 12 hours, 365 days a year.

Mr Wishart met with charity staff and crew at SCAA to learn how the charity is funded, tasked and operated across the largest operational area of any of the UK’s air ambulance charities – covering over 30,000 square miles and 100 islands.

And the new chair detailed how he hopes to serve air ambulances throughout the country through the APPG – an informal cross-party group run for and by members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.


“My aim is to raise the profile of this vital charity sector within our government,” said Mr Wishart, “and to ensure ministers and members are aware of the issues affecting it.

“The air ambulance community is a sector we are hugely proud of – and affectionate towards – in the political arena and I hope to do what I can to promote its activities and challenges at ministerial level.”


Pete Wishart APPGAA Visiting SCAA


SCAA Depute Chief Executive Doug Cross welcomed Mr Wishart to the Perth airbase, stressing the important role both he and the APPG play in supporting the air ambulance community throughout the UK.

“We were delighted to host Mr Wishart on his first visit to an operational base in his very important new role,” said Mr Cross. “It was good for him to see our operational base at Perth and learn of the vital role crews both here and at our Aberdeen base play in saving and improving lives throughout Scotland.

“To have the ear of someone in his position, who understands the challenges and ambitions of SCAA and sister air ambulance charities is very reassuring,” he added, “and we look forward to constructive engagement with him.

“It was also beneficial for Mr Wishart to meet some of the frontline crew and hear of the work they carry out on a daily basis to support those most seriously ill or injured in Scotland.”


Pete Wishart APPGAA Visiting SCAA


Mr Wishart said he had been immensely impressed on meeting both crew and staff.

“Hearing about the incredible work they do, and what they need going forward, will be critical in the APPG’s efforts to strengthen government co-operation and support for the sector,” said Mr Wishart.