The decision to locate Northern Ireland’s new air ambulance service at the Maze has been welcomed by the Ulster Aviation Society.
The Society, which is based at the Maze, says it is “good news” that the two emergency response helicopters will be sharing the site from early next year.
“This is a very positive step - for our health services, for the site’s development and for all of Northern Ireland, especially in the Lisburn area,” said Society chairman Ray Burrows.
“It’s also good news for our group,” he added, noting that the Society recently signed a lease for a second hangar at the location. The two hangars house 30 aircraft, workshops and display areas.
“We couldn’t be happier with the choice as a location for this emergency service,” Mr Burrows continued. “Development has been stalled in recent years, but this decision by the Executive is clear evidence that the parties can and will work together to make exciting things happen at Maze/Long Kesh.”
One of those things is the Society’s annual open days, which have been stalled by disagreement between Sinn Fein and the DUP.
“We’ve had to cancel the event for the past three summers because of that,” Mr Burrows added. “Hopefully, this agreement on the air ambulance location is an indication that the Executive at Stormont can also agree to solve our annual open days problem.”