THE Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been grounded after the company who holds their flying certificate has gone bust.

The charity's life saving Bell 429 helicopter which can transport patients from Wiltshire to Southmead Hospital in around ten minutes is currently out of use.

The charity's official flying documents known as the Air Operator Certificate is held with helicopter retailer Heli Charter, which announced it has ceased trading this week, meaning the certificate is now invalid.

Until a new document is obtained the helicopter will remain grounded, although WAA have confirmed they are looking to secure their own AOC.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Air Ambulance said: "Wiltshire Air Ambulance has been made aware of the difficult events at Heli Charter, our Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holder.

"At this time we express our sympathies with the staff of Heli Charter who have been affected by what is happening.

"The charity has its own contingency plan in place and its implementation has already begun.

"For some time we have been looking to secure our own AOC and those preparations are well advanced and its issuance imminent.

"We will be making no further comment at this time."

The air ambulace was previosuly grounded in the summer last year after an engine malfunction.

Staff at Wiltshire Air Ambulance have assured members of the public that they will continue to respond to medical emergencies from their two rapid response vehicles.