Sikorsky S-92s included in new UK Search & Rescue contract

Tuesday 26 March, 2013 - The UK Government's Department for Transport has announced the signing of a contract with Bristow Helicopters Ltd to provide search and rescue helicopter services in the UK.

A new £1.6 billion contract for search and rescue helicopter services will see the UK benefit from improved flying times and better coverage of high-risk areas.

Helicopters will be able to reach a larger area of the UK search and rescue region within one hour of take off than is currently possible, and based on historic incident data it is estimated that there will be an overall improvement in flying times to incidents of around 20% (from 23 to 19 minutes). Presently, approximately 70% of high and very high risk areas within the UK search and rescue region are reachable by helicopter within 30 minutes. Under the new contract, approximately 85% of the same area would be reached within this timeframe.

The announcement represents a major investment by the UK Government in providing a search and rescue helicopter service using the most up to date helicopters and meeting the highest professional standards.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

"Our search and rescue helicopter service plays a crucial role, saving lives and providing assistance to people in distress on both land and on sea."

"With 24 years of experience providing search and rescue helicopter services in the UK, the public can have great confidence in Bristow and their ability to deliver a first class service with state-of-the-art helicopters."

Under the new contract, 22 state of the art helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the UK.

  • Ten Sikorsky S-92s will be based, 2 per site, at Stornoway and Sumburgh, and at new bases at Newquay, Caernarfon and Humberside airports

  • Ten AgustaWestland AW189s will operate, 2 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

All bases will be operational 24 hours a day.

The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP's written statement to Parliament: Search and rescue helicopters.

For more information about the Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter contact:

Steve Ayling
PlaneSayling Aviation Limited
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