New base for Christchurch's air rescue services to mean faster treatment for patients

A new home for Christchurch's air rescue services is expected to be a game-changer for emergency services and tourism.

The GCH Aviation complex which is being officially unveiled tomorrow, is being called a "massive leap forward" for Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the New Zealand Flying Doctors Service.

The $23 million facility is the South Island's only fully-integrated air ambulance centre, meaning faster treatment for patients.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter pilot Stuart Farquhar says the building has been invaluable in speeding up care.

"It could be life and death. The less time it takes us to get to the patient the better it is for them, and that's always the case," he said.

"It's fantastic. Probably the best facility of its type in the whole of New Zealand."

The complex is also Christchurch's first official jet terminal, with VIP border clearance and a hangar for private planes.  

That's something GCH Aviation managing director John Currie says will be invaluable for the city.

"You look after people properly, they'll want to come back again. It's no rocket science," he said.

Emergency services will host an open day in the complex this Sunday.

The $23 million facility in Christchurch will be the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Source: 1 NEWS