CHC Helicopters, through its membership in the Soteria* consortium, has won preferred bidder status on a 25-year contract to provide comprehensive search and rescue (SAR) services and military aircrew SAR training to the UK government, securing CHC’s place as the largest supplier of civilian SAR services in the world.
“We are honoured to be chosen as the preferred bidder to provide this essential life-saving service to the citizens of the United Kingdom,” said Sylvain Allard, CEO of CHC Helicopters. “CHC takes this responsibility very seriously and we will make sure we live up to our reputation as a premier SAR provider.”
CHC Helicopters, through the Soteria consortium, will now commence work with the UK government to negotiate the final details of the contract prior to signature.
As a member of the Soteria consortium, CHC’s role will be providing all helicopter operations support, including facilities and crew, to service 11,000 km of coastline and 3.6 million sq km of sea, from 12 bases spread from Culdrose in the south of England to Sumburgh in Northern Scotland.
As part of the SAR-H program, CHC will completely transition UK SAR to a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter fleet, allowing the innovative use of new technology platforms, featuring the latest and best rescue equipment. CHC will also focus on maintaining its safety record which has an accident rate half that of major international airlines and one third of other major operators in the region. Dedicated, highly-trained, professional crews will be ready to respond to any incident in all kind of weathers, 24 hours per day, every day of the contract.
“Reaching this stage in the contracting process really underscores CHC’s expertise and reputation as a global leader in helicopter services,” said Mr Allard. “No other company has the scope of CHC when it comes to operating safely in challenging and hostile environments.”
Based in Vancouver, Canada, CHC is the world’s largest commercial provider of offshore helicopter services. With a fleet of more than 270 aircraft operating in 30 countries, CHC is also a leader in transportation servicing the offshore oil-and-gas industry.
* Soteria was formed to take part in the competitive process led by the Ministry of Defence (MOD)/Department For Transport (DfT) and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to create a single helicopter SAR entity in the UK. The four members of Soteria include: CHC Helicopters, the world’s largest supplier of helicopter services; Thales, the UK Ministry of Defence’s second-largest defence electronics systems supplier; Sikorsky Helicopters, supplier of the S-92 helicopter; and the Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the world’s largest financial services groups serving over 40 million customers worldwide.
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