Newquay Cornwall Airport has been selected as one of ten locations to operate the UK’s search and rescue (SAR) service.
The news follows an announcement by the Department of Transport that The Bristow Group will be taking over the UK’s helicopter SAR operations from 2015.
Under the £1.6 billion ten-year contract, a total of 22 helicopters will operate from ten locations, each of which will be operational 24 hours a day.
Airport MD, Al Titterington, welcomed the news and said: “The announcement that the search and rescue contract has been awarded to Bristow and that the company has chosen Newquay Cornwall Airport to be one of the new SAR bases is great news for the Airport.
“The decision ensures that Cornwall will continue to support SAR operations in the south west and will also create new jobs on the airport site. This illustrates the vital importance of the airport to Cornwall, not only for supporting business and leisure passenger services, but also demonstrates how important Newquay is to national aviation infrastructure.
“The new contract will bring additional income to the airport which will help ensure that the subsidy provided by Cornwall Council continues to reduce year on year, as well as supporting job creation at Newquay and safeguarding jobs in Cornwall.”
Bristow will replace RAF and Royal Navy Sea King helicopters with Sikorsky S-92s and AgustaWestland 189’s, with two S-92’s being based at Newquay.
The move to Newquay Cornwall Airport means that Bristow will be able to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Aerohub Enterprise Zone, which provides access to a range of incentives, including a relaxed planning environment and business rate relief.