A consultation is being launched over plans to move the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance headquarters to a site next to Southampton Airport. 

The life-saving charity says it would reduce response times and minimise flying and travel time. 

Its personnel are currently based at two locations, with the operations side including the helicopter and medical teams based at Thruxton Circuit near Andover and others at Adanac Park in Nursling. 

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The charity has identified a site at George Curl Way that would bring everyone together under one roof, meaning crews would be able to get to patients quicker and be ready to respond to the next emergency call in record time. 

Demand for the air ambulance is rising, the charity says.

Since its first mission in 2007 the doctors, dispatchers, pilots and paramedics have responded to more than 18,000 missions, 1,842 in 2023.

A new headquarters could also include aftercare facilities and a place to collaborate with like-minded organisations.

The site is previously developed, with an existing building on the land, and its proximity to Southampton Airport will mask the noise of helicopter take-offs, due to existing flights. 

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Before submitting an application to Eastleigh Borough Council, the charity is seeking feedback from residents.

A community consultation drop-in session will take place at Eastleigh Football Club on Tuesday March 5 between 4pm and 8pm.

For those unable to attend the event, a virtual consultation is taking place on the project’s website, hiowaa.your-feedback.co.uk, where comments can be submitted until Sunday, March 17.

Richard Corbett, Chief Executive Officer of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, said: “Demand is rising for our vital lifesaving work, but presently, our helicopter is located in the northwest corner of Hampshire, further from the majority of our missions than our preferred site.

“Moving would reduce response and flying times, and enable us to locate all our valued staff under one roof in purpose-built facilities that will allow us to continue our crucial work for years to come.

“We want to be good neighbours, as a result, we are keen to hear from residents and other important local stakeholders regarding our proposed new headquarters and would encourage people to take part in our community consultation.”