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Secretary of State for Transport Experiences SAR Helicopter Flight During Aberdeen Visit

October 26, 2017

SECRETARY of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, had the opportunity to join a Bristow Search and Rescue (SAR) Standards crew in an HM Coastguard Sikorsky S-92A helicopter while they conducted a local area training flight serial from Bristow’s Aberdeen flight centre.

Bristow currently operates four specially-configured Leonardo AW189 aircraft and the same number of AW139 aircraft alongside a fleet of 12 S-92 SAR airframes from 10 strategically located bases around the UK, as it delivers the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) nationwide helicopter SAR service.

Awarded the 10 year contract in 2013, Bristow commenced SAR service delivery on 1 April 2015; the commercial contract for State-provisioned SAR includes the development of new-build facilities in seven locations – an investment of some £7.5m per-site – and the upgrade of three existing facilities.

The final new base construction project – at Lydd on the south coast of England – is well underway, with completion expected in February 2018.

During the visit, Mr Grayling met the Bristow Helicopters UK SAR flight crew, as well as engineering personnel and training teams, who work alongside those who operate the company civilian transport aircraft in support of the UK Oil and Gas sector.

Russ Torbet, Director of UK SAR at Bristow, said: “In the two years since we began operating UK SAR on behalf of the MCA, while continuing to provide the GAP SAR service from the Northern Isles and Outer Hebrides, our absolute focus has been on securing the best outcome for everyone we are called to assist.

“Indeed many of our bases have already passed the 500 missions landmark, and will respond to many thousands more in the years to come.

“Mr Grayling was well aware our crews face working in some of the most remote, and harsh environments during SAR missions, as well as supporting other emergency services in their endeavours on land and at sea.

“It was our pleasure to give Mr Grayling a greater insight into the challenges our SAR crews experience every day. Our crews are able to operate to the very limits of the weather to conduct rescue missions due to the advanced technology on board all of our aircraft, including the very latest military specification night vision goggles.

“The professionalism of our people, combined with our focus on safety and training mean that Bristow sets and maintains the highest standards required for demanding SAR service and North Sea transport operations.”

Issued on behalf of Bristow Helicopters by BIG Partnership. For further information contact Alan Gorham on +44 (0) 1224 253810 or +44 (0) 7834 157667

About Bristow Helicopters Limited
Bristow Helicopters Limited (BHL) has served the offshore oil transport industry in the UK for over 50 years. Bristow Helicopters is the provider of Search and Rescue (SAR) services in the UK, having been awarded the Gap SAR contract for Northern Scotland and the UK SAR contract.

BHL is an affiliated company of Bristow Group Inc., the leading provider of global industrial aviation services offering helicopter transportation, SAR and aircraft support services, including maintenance and training, to government and civil organizations worldwide. For more information on Bristow’s operations, please visit