After the huge debacle of the previous round of bids (see £6bn UK SAR privatisation deal on hold – police investigate), the UK Government has announced the short-list of bidders going forward to provide SAR services around the British coastline for a 25 year period. The successful bidder(s) will take over roles currently provided by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, as well as a civilian contract currently held by CHC.
Bond Offshore Helicopters, Bristow Helicopters and CHC Helicopter are the nominated shortlist published by the Department of Transport, with the actual winners expected to be announced early in 2013. This rules out the bid by Belgian operator NHV. A fifth consortium involving British International had previously withdrawn from the competition.
The companies are each bidding for three lots, which include covering coastguard duties.
Lot one is to deliver the service at/near Sumburgh, Stornoway, Culdrose, Leconfield and Valley using helicopters capable of taking at least eight casualties per aircraft.
Lot two is to deliver the service from Lee-on-the-Solent and at/near Chivenor, Prestwick, Lossiemouth and Wattisham using helicopters capable of taking at least four casualties per aircraft.
Lot three is a contract covering the requirements of both Lots one and two.
Jeremy Parkin - HeliHub.com
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