WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance has been cleared to fly tomorrow (Wed, August 15) after being grounded twice in three months.

Police say they are pleased to confirm the "highly precautionary" testing of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance helicopter and airbase for Novichok have confirmed no contamination has been identified.

It was feared that contamination had taken place after the WAA’s Semington airbase responded to the Novichok poisoning of Amesbury couple Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess in Salisbury. Ms Sturgess later died on July 8.

David Philpott, the WAA chief executive, said: “We are of course delighted with this news.

“I would like to thank colleagues at Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Police, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and DSTL for the swift and professional way they have all worked with us during this challenging period.

“It is too early to say if these events have had a detrimental impact on our fundraising but I know how much the people of Wiltshire value our life-saving service so know we can count on them to keep us flying.”

The charity’s new airbase in Semington was closed temporarily and its Bell helicopter was grounded on August 1 for the second time for testing to take place.

The airbase and the helicopter will be operating as normal from tomorrow for the first time in two weeks.

The ambulance provision to the public was unaffected during this period as the charity’s paramedics and doctors remained fully operational providing critical care in Wiltshire by using Rapid Response Cars.

The cars have the same specialist medical equipment that is on-board the helicopter.

Wiltshire’s Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills, who is leading the multi-agency response to the Salisbury incident, said: “It is important to again stress that the testing forms part of the wider response to the incident and was undertaken on a precautionary basis – the air ambulance was not used to respond to the initial incident.

“The advice from Public Health England has not changed since the start of this incident – the risk to the public remains low.

“I was never in doubt that the excellent level of service the people of Wiltshire receive from our medical colleagues would be unaffected.

“We will now continue to work with a range of partner agencies to progress work at other sites in the county which still form part of this ongoing investigation.

“I would like to once again thank the people of Wiltshire for their patience, support and understanding as we continue to work through our multi-agency response to this major incident.”

The helicopter had only resumed flying operations again on July 20 after being grounded for the first time on June 15 for 35 days due to mechanical problems.