The Swedish Maritime Administration has now decided how to ensure a long-term national sea and air rescue service. This means that the helicopter operations will be gradually incorporated into the Maritime Administration. The reason is to safeguard the availability of rescue helicopters for sea and land operations on a longer term.
The Maritime Administration is the agency responsible for the Swedish sea and air rescue service. A central part of the business is the helicopter services previously operated by Norrlandsflyg.
- We have now decided to incorporate helicopter services in the Maritime Administration as the existing agreements begin to expire. Norrlandsflyg has managed the operational activities in a safe and professional manner, but now we have chosen a new direction for how we want to conduct business, says Naomi Erickson, Chief Financial Officer of Maritime Administration.
The Maritime Administration's rescue helicopters are positioned on five duty stations along the Swedish coastline. They are in alert around the clock all year, and have a response time of 15 minutes following an emergency call.
Having a well-functioning rescue service is a basic security for both sailors and aviators.
- We are very keen to be able to conduct safe rescue operations in accordance with our mandate, and that means we must be able to secure a long-term operation both financially and operationally. That is the reason why we have made this decision, says Naomi Erickson.
In January the Administration decided not to extend the two-year option in Norrlandsflyg ‘s contract for the helicopter service in Ronneby. The contracts for Visby and SkellefteÃ¥ will run out in the spring of 2012 as well. During 2013, the contract for the operations in NorrtÃ¤lje (Stockholm) and SÃ¤ve (Gothenburg) will expire.
The transposition of the business is conducted in close cooperation between Norrlandsflyg and the Swedish Maritime Administration, and both parties are keen that this happens in a planned and controlled manner.
- We regret that the Administration has chosen to withdraw this service from a compediting market, but now as the decision has been made we concider it a natural thing that we in Norrlandsflyg continue to take our professional responsibility, says Anders Annerfalk, public information officer at Norrlandsflyg.
Norrlandsflyg has performed civil search and rescue (SAR) operations from 2002, following the first steps in the retirement of military rescue operations. It operates a large fleet of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters from six bases throughout Sweden - five SAR stations and one EMS (ambulance) base. The company, which has its main office in Gothenburg, employs a staff of approx. 120 persons.
Reproduced from Nordic Rotors with permission. Copyright and full responsibility for the content of this article and the accompanying photo remains with Nordic Rotors
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