Deal signed for construction of search and rescue base at Newquay Airport
PLANS to build a new search and rescue base at Newquay airport have taken a step forward.
Bristow Helicopters Ltd confirmed this week that Balfour Beatty has won the £40 million contract to build the new bases at nine different locations across the UK.
The Cornish Guardian reported back in May how Bristow was to take on the search and rescue service in Cornwall from 2015.
It was announced in March that the UK company, which has its corporate head office in Texas, had won a seven to ten-year contract to provide the service across the UK.
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The move by the Department for Transport will see two Sikorsky S92 helicopters based at Newquay airport and has been welcomed by community leaders in the town, who said it will create jobs for local people and is a "vote of confidence" in the airport.
However, the £1.6bn deal ends several decades of search and rescue provided by the RAF and Royal Navy, which ran a 40-strong fleet of Sea King helicopters.
Mike Imlach, managing director of Bristow Helicopters Ltd, said of the deal with Balfour Beatty: "We were impressed with the extensive experience and professionalism displayed by the team at Balfour Beatty and have absolute faith in their ability to deliver on this important project.
"We remain committed to involving local contractors in the establishment of the new SAR bases and look forward to seeing these contracts signed in the coming months.
"Our experienced crews have fed into the design process and worked closely with the architects to ensure that the bases are ideally suited to safe and efficient SAR operations.
"The identical interior layouts across the country will make it easy for our crew members to work from alternative bases should they need to. Each site will provide modern, high-quality accommodation for the aircraft and crews while demonstrating how buildings like this can be made highly sustainable and environmentally friendly."
Construction is due to commence in early 2014 with developments continuing until early 2017.