Bristow Helicopters has been awarded a £1.6 billion 10-year contract for the second-generation search and rescue aviation programme by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Bristow will work in partnership with 2Excel Aviation, a leading specialist in fixed wing aerospace services, and Nova Systems, the consortium’s innovation partner, to deliver the contract for the MCA on behalf of HM Coastguard. The new contract will see the U.K. search and rescue region benefit from innovation and advances in technology to save more lives, even more quickly.

The contract combines the existing two separate aviation contracts for fixed wing aircraft and rotary aircraft and will include the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Since 2013 and 2019, respectively, Bristow and 2Excel have operated search and rescue services for the U.K. in the original SAR and Aerial Surveillance contracts. During that time, the companies have displayed exceptional quality, innovation, and skill in their work rescuing over 4,500 people over the past seven years.

Saving lives

“We are very pleased with the MCA’s trust in Bristow to continue to provide safe and reliable search and rescue services with our crews to help save lives throughout the United Kingdom,” said Bristow President and CEO Chris Bradshaw. “Through this new, innovative contract, Bristow and our partners will increase efficiencies and innovations as well as establish additional seasonal bases to further expand our service.”

As part of the new contract, Bristow will continue to operate from their current 10 bases and will launch two new seasonal bases in Fort William and Carlisle, to serve areas around two of the busiest locations for summer tourism.
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