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Avera to base air ambulance plane in central South Dakota

PIERRE (AP) — Sioux Falls-based Avera plans to put an airplane and a crew of up to a dozen pilots and nurses in Pierre, to improve service.

The Avera Careflight air ambulance program has operated for 30 years, with two airplanes and a helicopter in Sioux Falls and a second helicopter in Aberdeen.

Avera leaders tell the Capital Journal that one of the airplanes will now be based in Pierre, in central South Dakota. The City Commission this week approved a plan for a hangar that will house the plane. The new service isn't expected to begin for several months.

Avera serves an area encompassing 72,000 square miles, including most of South Dakota and areas in North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.