Bristow Helicopters officially took over search and rescue (SAR) helicopter operations from Sumburgh airport from CHC today on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Bristows previously ran the service from Sumburgh from 1983 until 2007, and will now do so again both here and in Stornoway. Operations based at Stornoway airport will start on 1st July.
Two new state-of-the-art Sikorsky S-92 helicopters will be stationed at the coastguard SAR helicopter unit at Sumburgh, equipped with the latest search and rescue kit, including night vision goggle technology, forward-looking infrared and sophisticated communications equipment.
Mike Imlach, managing director of Bristow Helicopters said: “We are honoured to once again be delivering the search and rescue helicopter service from Sumburgh. Our thorough preparation and training will ensure a smooth transition. We look forward to beginning operations in Stornoway next month.
“Several of our SAR crew members have been delivering search and rescue helicopter services in the north of Scotland for many years and will continue to do so with Bristow.”
Bristow Helicopters was recently awarded the full UK SAR contract by the Department for Transport. This will begin in Sumburgh in April 2017 and will see Bristow delivering SAR helicopter services here until 2026.