Air Borne Activities
The changes in the air borne assets that will be available to Coastguard arise from a decision by the Ministry of Defence to withdraw from civil search and rescue. As has been announced, from 2015, military SAR helicopters will be replaced by civilian SAR helicopters under a contract let by government to Bristow. The replacement will be complete by 2017. The civilian SAR helicopters will be based at 10 locations which are Manston, Lee on the Solent, Newquay, St Athan, Caernarvon, Prestwick, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Inverness, and Humberside. Bristow will use two types of aircraft, the Sikorsky S-92 from 5 bases and Augusta Westland 189 from 5 bases.
The Solent base will have the Augusta Westland 189.
Bristow have commented on their new contract. Read more
For those interested in the technical aspects, Bristows have issued a press pack full of interesting information