]The people of Wales have chosen the name for a new Wales Air Ambulance Charity helicopter – and it’s one that will brighten the Welsh sky.
With the Charity due to introduce a new aircraft in the New Year, it called on its supporters to help pick a registration.
An aircraft registration, similar to a vehicle number plate, identifies a civil aircraft. In the United Kingdom, civil aircraft start with the prefix ‘G-‘ followed by a series of letters.
The aircraft registrations of three of the current Wales Air Ambulance helicopters are all Welsh words that represent the service provided by the lifesaving Charity.
Over the past week, Wales Air Ambulance supporters took part in an online vote to choose their preferred registration from a list of five options.
The clear winner, with 38% of the vote, was G-LOYW, which means bright or shining. The full results are as follows:
G-LOYW – meaning bright/shining – 38%
G-WYDN – meaning durable/resilient – 26%
G-IARD – meaning guard – 15%
G-NHDL – abbreviation of Genhedl meaning nation – 12%
G-YRRU – meaning to drive/send/dispatch – 9%
G-LOYW will join the existing fleet of H145-model helicopters, which are G-WOBR meaning prize, G-WROL meaning courageous and G-WENU meaning smile.
In February this year, Wales Air Ambulance announced that Gama Aviation had successfully bid for the seven-year contract to provide aviation services to the air ambulance in Wales, starting on 1 January 2024.
The contract, valued at £65 million, covers the operation and maintenance of a primary fleet of four Airbus H145 helicopters. Currently, the fleet contains three H145 helicopters and one smaller H135. When the new contract begins, the H135 will be replaced by a H145, ensuring a consistent fleet of advanced helicopters.
Under Civil Aviation Authority legislation, all aircraft must be allocated a registration.
Dr Sue Barnes, Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive, said: “Our helicopters are funded by the people of Wales, so it was important to us to involve our supporters in the registration of the new aircraft. I would like to thank everybody who took part in the vote.
“Equally as important to us is the use of the Welsh language. We are a charity that aims to be embedded within the communities that we serve, reflecting the Welsh language and culture.
“The choice of G-LOYW certainly reflects what we do. We like to think that our service offers hope; a bright light there to help in someone’s darkest hour.”