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Air Rescue and Air Ambulance Services


GCH Aviation is the proud provider and operator of full-time, professional air rescue and air ambulance operations for the Canterbury, West Coast, Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough Regions as well as air ambulance services throughout New Zealand.
We have achieved a world-class, professional service through a cooperative administrative partnership with The Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust, The Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust and in conjunction with St John, District Health Boards, The New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre and nationwide emergency response services.
Our partnerships are sponsored by Westpac Banking Corporation in Canterbury and on the West Coast by New Zealand Coal and Carbon Ltd (NZCC). Principal Funder of the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Service is the New Zealand Community Trust and a Principal Sponsor is currently being sought.
Our facilities include modern hangars in Canterbury, Greymouth and Nelson housing maintenance workshops, training and briefing rooms with secure storage for specialised medical and rescue equipment. On-site facilities include re-fuelling, night operation lighting and the latest communication equipment for 24 hour, 7 day a week coverage.


GCH Aviation also maintains and operates the New Zealand Flying Doctor Service - a fixed wing medical transfer service operating from Christchurch Airport, transporting patients from regional centres to advanced medical facilities throughout New Zealand.
St John's trained team of paramedics and winch operators are crucial to the successful outcome of missions, as are our water rescue volunteers. Just like Garden City Helicopters, St John is committed to providing the very high standard of care and expertise demanded by the air rescue and air ambulance service.
The Canterbury West Coast air rescue and air ambulance service itself is the only one in the region activated through Telecom's 111 Emergency Service through the St John control room. It is this 24 hour, 7 day a week rapid response system that ensures effective and immediate deployment of rescue and air ambulance crews. This service is also used by the region's Fire Fighting Service for fire control, by Police Search and Rescue and by the Coastguard.


For more details about our air rescue operations plus information on how individuals, community groups and businesses can support these crucial community services, please visit the following websites:

Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust website
   Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust website

Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter website  
New Zealand Flying Doctor Service website








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