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Topping Off Ceremony Marks Construction Milestone at New Search and Rescue Helicopter Base

May 20, 2015

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A traditional topping off ceremony took place yesterday (Tuesday, 19 May 2015) to mark the ongoing construction of the new search and rescue (SAR) helicopter base at Newquay Cornwall Airport.

The base will house two Sikorsky S92 helicopters operated by Bristow Helicopters Ltd, who are taking over delivery of helicopter SAR services throughout the UK on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The base is one of a number of new build facilities being developed by Bristow, with its infrastructure delivery partner Balfour Beatty, at commercial airports around the UK. As the main contractor, Balfour Beatty is outsourcing various aspects of the building works to local contractors in the communities in which the bases are being established. At the forefront of sustainability, the bases will include a raft of environmental technologies, including rainwater harvesting systems.

The topping out ceremony was attended by representatives of Newquay Cornwall Airport, Balfour Beatty and Bristow Helicopters Ltd.

Samantha Willenbacher, Bristow Helicopters Ltd’s UK Search and Rescue Director, said: “Today’s ceremony is an important and exciting milestone for us as we work towards the base at Newquay going live on 1 January 2016.

“We have been working closely with the Newquay Cornwall Airport team on this development and look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with them throughout the build and once the base becomes operational. We also look forward to becoming a part of the local community.

“The base 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.”

Al Titterington, Managing Director of Newquay Cornwall Airport, also welcomed the progress of the new base.

He said: “It was great to join with the key partners in this vital project for Cornwall as we move ever nearer to the build completion. The new base will not only ensure that Cornwall continues to support Search & Rescue operations but will create and safeguard jobs on the airport site. The partnership with Bristow Helicopters highlights the vital importance of Newquay Cornwall Airport to the area from both a business and leisure traveller service perspective."

Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty Delivery Unit Managing Director, added: “We are pleased to have reached this significant milestone in the construction of the SAR helicopter base at Newquay Cornwall Airport. We are using our extensive experience of airport construction work to deliver this project which is vital to the ongoing success of this emergency service throughout the UK.

“We look forward to working with our supply chain partners to provide facilities that fulfill our customer’s expectations.”

Under Balfour Beatty’s contract arrangements with Bristow Helicopters Ltd, at least 35% of the companies they engage to work on the infrastructure projects are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The new SAR helicopter base at Newquay Cornwall Airport is due to become fully operational on 1 January 2016. It is one of ten SAR helicopter bases from which the UK SAR contract will be delivered. The first two of these bases at Inverness and Humberside began operations on 1 April 2015. In addition Bristow Helicopters currently provides SAR services on behalf of the MCA at Stornoway, in the Western Isles, and Sumburgh, in Shetland which will continue throughout the UK SAR contract. The other bases will be located at Caernarfon, Lydd, St Athan, Prestwick and Lee-on-Solent.

About Bristow Helicopters Ltd
Bristow Helicopters Ltd is the leading provider of search and rescue (SAR) services in the UK, on behalf of Her Majesty's Coastguard, having been awarded the UK SAR contract and the Gap SAR contract for Northern Scotland. Bristow Helicopters has a long history of providing world class SAR services in the UK, beginning in 1971 and has flown more than 44,000 SAR operational hours in the UK and conducted over 15,000 SAR missions, during which more than 7,000 people have been rescued by our crews and helicopters. For more information on Bristow’s SAR operations, please visit www.bristowsar.com.  

Bristow Helicopters Ltd. has served the offshore oil transport industry in the UK for nearly 60 years. Bristow Helicopters Ltd. is an affiliated company of Bristow Group Inc.

About Bristow Group
Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.bristowgroup.com.

About Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty (www.balfourbeatty.com) is an international infrastructure group that delivers world class services essential to the development, creation and care of infrastructure assets; from finance and development, through design and project management to construction and maintenance.
Our businesses draw on more than 100 years of experience to deliver the highest levels of quality, safety and technical expertise to our clients principally in the UK and the USA, with developing businesses in Australia, Canada, the Middle East, South Africa and South East Asia.
With proven expertise in delivering infrastructure critical to support communities and society today and in the future, our key market sectors focus on infrastructure - transportation (roads, rail and aviation), power and energy, water and complex buildings (both commercial and social).
Balfour Beatty employs 40,000 people around the world.