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Department of Transport Signs Contract to Provide for Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Aviation Service

The Department of Transport has signed a contract with Bristow Ireland Limited to provide for the next Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) Search and Rescue Aviation Service.

The Department and the Irish Coast Guard look forward to working closely with Bristow Ireland Limited as it provides a range of essential state services under the new aviation service contract. These will include Maritime and Inland Search and Rescue, Environmental Monitoring, Helicopter Emergency Medical and Air Ambulance Services, with enhanced mission control and communications systems.

Under the new contract, Bristow Ireland Limited will operate six AW189 helicopters from four dedicated bases in Sligo, Shannon, Waterford and Dublin Weston Airport. For the first time, the Coast Guard’s aviation service will also have fixed wing aircraft capability available on 24/7 basis to support the delivery of these essential services. In an expansion to the current aviation service for the Coast Guard, two King Air fixed-wing aircraft based at Shannon Airport, will provide support for Coast Guard search & rescue operations and environmental monitoring.

The new contract will run for 10 years in the case of the helicopter service and five years in the case of fixed wing aircraft element of the service, with options to extend both elements out to 13 years.

The contract makes provision for the possibility of the Air Corps assuming responsibility for the fixed wing element of the service after five years.

The new IRCG aviation service will be introduced by Bristow Ireland Limited gradually on a phased basis and will be fully operational by July 2025.

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