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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 17:01 GMT
New helicopter for air ambulance
HRH The Princess Royal unveiling the new helicopter
The new helicopter is quieter than the previous B0105
A new home and helicopter for the Dorset and Somerset air ambulance means it should be able to reduce the time it takes to get to the scene of accidents.

The helicopter will operate from AgustaWestland's Yeovil airfield which will provide improved facilities for the aircraft and crew.

The new Europcopter EC135 will operate throughout the week to respond to emergencies in the area.

The service has been running since 2000 and has helped save hundreds of lives.

A spokesman said the new aircraft and agreed operating procedures would help ensure noise levels were kept to a minimum when operating from Yeovil.

Previously the helicopter was located at Henstridge Airfield on the A30 between Sherborne and Shaftesbury

The aircraft, which costs more than 3,500 to run daily, is funded by charitable donations. On average it receives three or four calls a day from the ambulance service.

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