Private company to take over SAR operations

The Government has announced that Bristow Helicopters will take over the running of the UK’s search and rescue service.

The £1.6 billion contract will come into effect from 2015, and will see the end of SAR services provided by the RAF and Royal Navy.

According to a press release on The Department for Transport’s website, under the new contract 22 helicopters will operate from ten sites.

Ten Sikorsky S92s will be based - two per site - at Stornoway and Sumburgh, as well at new bases situated in Newquay, Caernarfon and Humberside airports.

Additionally, ten AgustaWestland AW189s will operate - two per site - from Lee-on-Solent and a new hangar at Prestwick airport, and new bases which will be established at St Athan, Inverness and Manston airports.

The service run by Bristow will be fully rolled out by summer 2017.

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