The SCAA Story

Our History

Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) has come a long way since the idea was first discussed in 2010.  Now, the only charity air ambulance operating in Scotland, SCAA responds to hundreds of time-critical call outs every year, serving a population of over 5 million.  This wouldn't have been possible without our board, crew, charity team, fundraisers, donors and volunteers.  So where did it all begin?

SCAA is Formed
2010

2010

SCAA is Formed

A group of local businessmen formed Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) with a clear vision of the charity becoming an integral part of Scotland's emergency response network.  

OSCR approved its registration as a Scottish Charity on 26th October 2010.

SCAA Business Plan Approved
2012

2012

SCAA Business Plan Approved

A business plan was prepared and presented to the Scottish Ambulance Service Board and the Scottish Government. 

The plan received full approval from both in November 2012.

SCAA Helicopter arrives at Perth Airport
2013

2013

SCAA Helicopter arrives at Perth Airport

Bond Air Services was selected as the aviation provider and the Bolkow 105 DBS helicopter arrived at Perth Airport, in full SCAA branding, on 14th May 2013.

SCAA is Officially Launched
2013

2013

SCAA is Officially Launched

On 22nd May 2013, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) was officially launched.

The First Emergency Response
2013

2013

The First Emergency Response

On 23rd May 2013, SCAA responded to its first emergency call out, a serious road traffic collision in Dunoon which resulted in a patient being airlifted to the then Glasgow Southern General for specialist treatment.

Rapid Response Vehicle Introduced
2014

2014

Rapid Response Vehicle Introduced

In March 2014, SCAA introduced a rapid response vehicle (RRV) with the objective of providing an additional life-saving resource to assist at local emergencies or when the helicopter is offline due to poor weather or maintenance.

Major Funding Boost
2015

2015

Major Funding Boost

In May 2015, SCAA received £3.5m from LIBOR bank fines, which were imposed on banks that tried to manipulate the financial markets.

Helicopter Upgrade
2015

2015

Helicopter Upgrade

In November 2015, SCAA upgraded to an EC135-T2i helicopter, following receipt of the LIBOR funding. 

This upgrade increased the capabilities of the charity, enabling SCAA to carry the parent of a sick child or a trauma doctor, fly further, quicker, in darkness, in lower cloud conditions and also further over water. 

Illuminated Landing Pad Commissioned
2016

2016

Illuminated Landing Pad Commissioned

An illuminated landing pad was commissioned to allow safe landing back at base after dark.  These lights can be controlled remotely from the helicopter cockpit upon approach.

Operational Hours Extended
2017

2017

Operational Hours Extended

On 1st April 2017, SCAA extended its operational hours from 10 hours to 12 hours per day.  The move also saw SCAA recruit a 6th paramedic, which in turn enabled the charity to extend RRV usage by around 20 hours, subject to the demand of the aircraft. 

Within the first week, lives were saved and improved within the additional hours.

Plans For A Second Charity Helicopter Air Ambulance Are Announced
2018

2018

Plans For A Second Charity Helicopter Air Ambulance Are Announced

On 24th April 2018, SCAA, which has operated a helicopter air ambulance since 2013, announced that they intend to raise £6m - the equivalent of around three year’s running costs - to fund a second life-saving helicopter prior to launch. This will increase the response capability to time-critical medical emergencies, retrievals and urgent transfers across the whole of Scotland.