The Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) has been given the go-ahead to extend its hours.

The charity, which operates two fully night capable Airbus H145 helicopters, will now be available to respond to incidents from 6am until midnight during the week and 10pm on weekends initially, with crews wearing latest generation night-vision goggles.

The move was approved last week.

Captain Andy Lister, Director of Aviation at the YAA commented “This really is a great step forward in the operational developments of the YAA.

"Our pilots and crews have worked extremely hard over the last few months to undertake and learn the processes involved in NVIS (Night Vision Imaging System) flying.

"It is a complex process for our operational team to have embarked on, however I am pleased to report that we now have a fully capable NVIS team at the YAA.

"I am very proud of them all, and know we are moving forward together to provide the best possible service for the people of Yorkshire.”

Working in partnership with Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the YAA now offers extended flying hours into the night, as well as two state-of-the-art H145 helicopters which carry the latest generation of medical equipment, advanced clinical practices, alongside the ability to give blood at scene where required.

Two highly-trained paramedics fly alongside skilled pilots, and the Nostell helicopter also carries consultant specialising in pre-hospital care.

Captain Lister added: “This will mean our crew will be operational for longer periods each day, enabling them to respond to incidents into the hours of darkness.

"This will be particularly beneficial in the winter months, when the nights come in much quicker.

"Our pilots and navigational crew will wear the NVIS goggles in the front of the helicopter which will enable them to identify any hazards or obstacles when approaching a landing site."

A number of paramedics are NVIS approved and the rest of the crew are expected to be approved by the end of October.