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Bristow Selects Balfour Beatty to Build New UK Search and Rescue Bases

September 12, 2013

Bristow Helicopters Ltd has appointed Balfour Beatty as its infrastructure delivery partner to support the development of its UK Search and Rescue service.

As the main contractor, the company will now begin outsourcing various aspects of the building works to local contractors in the communities in which the bases will be established.

The contract, worth in excess of £40m will see Balfour Beatty delivering infrastructure projects at nine sites across the UK between 2014 and 2017 including the construction of seven new build search and rescue helicopter bases at commercial airports in Inverness, Manston, Prestwick, Caernarfon, St Athan, Humberside and Newquay, and the refurbishment of an existing facility in Stornoway. The ninth SAR helicopter base which will be used by Bristow to deliver the contract is an existing Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) facility at Lee-on-Solent and a final tenth base shall be an existing Bristow facility at Sumburgh.

“We remain committed to involving local contractors in the establishment of the new SAR bases and look forward to seeing these contracts signed in the coming months.”

At the forefront of sustainability, the new helicopter bases include a raft of environmental technologies including PV solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems.

Bristow Helicopters was awarded the ten-year UK Search and Rescue contract by the Department for Transport in March 2013 and is due to take over the service on behalf of the MCA from April 2015.

Commenting as the contract was signed this week, Mike Imlach, managing director, Bristow Helicopters Ltd, said: “We were impressed with the extensive experience and professionalism displayed by the team at Balfour Beatty and have absolute faith in their ability to deliver on this important project.

“We remain committed to involving local contractors in the establishment of the new SAR bases and look forward to seeing these contracts signed in the coming months.

“Our experienced crews have fed into the design process and worked closely with the architects to ensure that the new bases are ideally suited to safe and efficient SAR operations. The identical interior layouts across the country will make it easy for our crew members to work from alternative bases should they need to. Each site will provide modern, high quality accommodation for the aircraft and crews while demonstrating how buildings like this can be made highly sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty Delivery Unit Managing Director, said: “We are delighted that Bristow Helicopters has awarded Balfour Beatty the contract to deliver its operational base facilities across the country for its new UK Search and Rescue service. We will use our extensive experience of airport construction work to deliver these projects which are vital to the ongoing success of this emergency service throughout the UK. We look forward to working with our local suppliers to provide facilities that fulfil our customer’s expectations.”

Construction is due to commence in early 2014 with developments continuing until early 2017.