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Bristow reclaim Oscar Charlie

THE DEPARTMENT of Transport has confirmed that coastguard helicopter search and rescue services at Sumburgh and Stornoway are to be taken over by Bristow Helicopters.

Transport minister Mike Penning said on Wednesday that the contract would run between 2013 and 2017.

He added that a separate contract had been signed with current operators CHC Scotia to operate rescue services from Portland and Lee on the Solent. 

Work continues to put in place a nation-wide long term contract for search and rescue services, the minister said.

“Operations will commence under these longer term arrangements during 2015 and the future contractor for the UK will assume responsibility for the MCA capability during 2017,” he said.

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