Lift-off for new €500m search and rescue deal
STATE-of-the-art helicopters will be used to provide search and rescue services under a deal signed by the Government yesterday.
Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said a 10-year €500m contract for the Irish Coast Guard will result in four Sikorsky S92 aircraft costing €25m each being used to provide a better service.
The deal with CHC Helicopters, which currently holds the contract to provide search and rescue, will run from 2012 to 2022.
The new aircraft will be based at Waterford, Dublin, Shannon and Sligo and have a range of 270 nautical miles. This means they can travel for up to two hours, hover around an incident for 40 minutes before returning to base, far longer than the existing aircraft.