The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has awarded Bristow a contract for Second-Generation Search and Rescue Aviation.

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  • The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has awarded Bristow a contract for Second-Generation Search and Rescue Aviation.
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A new 10-year contract between Bristow and current rotary and fixed-wing services creates a fully integrated, ground-breaking solution.
Bristow Helicopters Ltd. (NYSE: VTOL) (“Bristow”), the world leader in innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions, has been awarded a £1.6 billion 10-year contract for the Second-Generation Search and Rescue Aviation (“UKSAR2G”) programme. Beginning September 30, 2024, through December 31, 2026, the Bristow-led consortium will begin transitioning to the new contract to ensure a continuation of crucial lifesaving search and rescue aviation services throughout the U.K.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an executive agency of the Department for Transport, has awarded a £1.6 billion 10-year contract for the Second-Generation Search and Rescue Aviation (“UKSAR2G”) programme to Bristow Helicopters Ltd (NYSE: VTOL), the world leader in innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions.

To fulfil the contract for the MCA on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard, Bristow will collaborate with 2Excel Aviation, an industry leader in fixed wing aerospace services, and Nova Systems, the consortium’s innovation partner. With the new contract, the U.K. search and rescue sector will gain from innovation and technological advancements to save more lives even faster.

The agreement merges the two current independent aviation contracts for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and calls for the employment of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Bristow and 2Excel have been running search and rescue operations for the UK under the original SAR and Aerial Surveillance contracts since 2013 and 2019, respectively. Over the previous seven years, the organisations’ work in saving more than 4,500 individuals has demonstrated extraordinary quality, inventiveness, and expertise.

Bristow President and CEO Chris Bradshaw remarked, “We are very delighted with the MCA’s faith in Bristow to continue to deliver safe and reliable search and rescue services with our personnel to help save lives throughout the United Kingdom.” “Bristow and our partners will boost efficiencies and innovations as well as build more seasonal bases to further expand our service,” says the new, innovative contract.

According to the terms of the new contract, Bristow will continue to run its operations out of its 10 present bases and open two additional seasonal stations in Fort William and Carlisle to serve the regions surrounding two of the major summer tourist destinations. From April to September, the bases at Carlisle and Fort William will be open 24 hours per day. All other heliports will remain open twenty-four hours a day.

The partners will operate: 18 helicopters, including nine existing Leonardo AW189s and three existing Sikorsky S-92s augmented by the introduction of six new Leonardo AW139 helicopters; Six King Air fixed-wing airplanes, including the B350, B350ER and the B200 at Doncaster, Prestwick and Newquay; and One mobile deployable Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS.

Since its founding, 2Excel has developed a reputation for being exceptionally adept at coming up with creative ideas and swiftly transforming challenging aviation concepts into cutting-edge capabilities. This is demonstrated by the UKSAR2G contract with the MCA, according to Andy Offer, co-founder and director of 2Excel Aviation. “This contract builds on the existing capabilities we have delivered to the MCA over the past few years with our fixed-wing aircraft packed with cutting-edge integrated sensors; delivering services to a myriad of governmental agencies including border security, fisheries patrol, as well as life-saving search and rescue for HM Coastguard – working collaboratively with our partner Bristow.”

In order to provide even greater levels of support to individuals in need, Bristow and its partners 2Excel and Nova Systems will seek to increase innovation in the delivery of search and rescue services throughout the U.K. region through the new contract.

“Nova Systems is excited to serve as the UKSAR2Program G’s Innovation Partner alongside Bristow and 2Excel. We are excited to improve the UK’s SAR capability and provide a top-notch innovation programme to the Bristow team and the MCA with our experience working at the cutting edge of aerospace technology and mission system development and with our unique mix of technical and operational domain expertise, said Gareth Dyer, Managing Director, International for Nova Systems.

In addition to the Coastguard Training Facility, Bristow will construct a brand-new, cutting-edge search and rescue helicopter simulation training facility at Solent Airport that will include a mock rescue hoist and helicopter hung over a sizable training pool. Utilizing sustainable aviation fuels to supply these services reduces the carbon footprint, which is another innovation.

To guarantee the continuance of essential search and rescue aviation services throughout the entire United Kingdom, the firms will migrate from the current contracts beginning on September 30, 2024, through December 31, 2026.

Currently in a pre-earnings quiet period, Bristow will provide more details after the publication of its quarterly financial results in early August.

Regarding Bristow Group

The top international supplier of cutting-edge, environmentally friendly vertical flight solutions is Bristow Group Inc. To a large number of significant integrated, national, and independent offshore energy corporations, Bristow principally offers aviation services. Bristow works for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency to provide public sector SAR services in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and commercial SAR services in a number of other nations (MCA). The company also provides ad hoc transportation services with fixed wings and helicopters.

Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Dutch Caribbean, Guyana, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad, the United Kingdom, and the United States are currently Bristow’s customers. Visit our website at to discover more.

Concerning 2Excel Aviation

Defense and security, engineering, events, and disaster response are just a few of the areas that 2Excel works in as part of its creative aerospace services business. The activity is divided into two business lines: 2Excel Engineering, a maintenance and repair organisation (MRO) for Boeing and Airbus narrow-bodied aircraft, and 2Excel Aviation, which includes capability development, special missions, and charter.

2Excel, a company founded in 2005 by two pilots from the Royal Air Force, has expanded from five employees and four aerobatic aircraft to over 400 employees and a fleet of thirty. Through the establishment of an Employee Ownership Trust, 2Excel Aviation became 51% employee owned in 2018.

Regarding Nova Systems

With more than 850 professionals operating from strategically positioned offices throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand, Nova Systems is a major worldwide engineering services and technology solutions provider. We are a dependable partner for clients in the defence, parapublic, government, special missions, and commercial aerospace industries to address complicated challenges. In order to create customised, low-risk solutions, our company leverages its two decades of aviation experience, founded on a foundation of operational and technical competence.

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