Soteria wins bid for UK search and rescue


 CHC Helicopters, RBS, Thales and Sikorsky picked for UK search and rescue contract

The Soteria consortium of CHC Helicopters, Royal Bank of Scotland, Thales and Sikorsky has been selected as the preferred bidder for a 25-year contract to provide search and rescue (SAR) services and military aircrew SAR training to the UK government.

“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.”

The UK government and Soteria are now agreeing the final details of the contract.

Based in Vancouver, CHC says it is the world’s largest commercial provider of offshore helicopter services. It has a fleet of more than 270 aircraft in 30 countries.
Its role in Soteria is to provide helicopter operations support including crew and facilities. The UK search and rescue fleet will become an all Sikorsky S-92 fleet.

“Reaching this stage in the contracting process really underscores CHC’s expertise and reputation as a global leader in helicopter services,” says Allard. “No other company has the scope of CHC when it comes to operating safely in challenging and hostile environments.”

The contract covers 11,000 km of coastline and 3.6 million square kilometres of sea, from 12 bases spread from Culdrose in the south of England to Sumburgh in Northern Scotland. It has been jointly organized by the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.