The Department for Transport has said that under the new contract helicopters will be able to reach a larger area of the UK Search and Rescue region within an hour of take-off than is currently possible.
It added that, based on historic incident data, it is estimated there will be an overall improvement in flying times to incidents of around 20 percent (from 23 to 19 minutes).
Presently, approximately 70 percent of high and very high-risk areas within the UK SAR region are reachable by helicopter within 30 minutes. Under the new contract, approximately 85 percent of the same area would be reached within this time frame.
A flying instructor whose student died in a helicopter crash in North Yorkshire has been jailed for six months by a judge at Leeds Crown Court. Former Army Captain Ian King, aged 53, signed off Paul Spencer's training log just weeks before the tragedy.
He was found guilty of lying to the Civil Aviation Authority.
Mr Spencer, a wealthy businessman and his wife, Linda, from Brighouse, died when the helicopter he was piloting came down in Rudding Park at Harrogate in January 2008.
The court heard how Mr Spencer's flying experience fell below what was required for a licence. Judge Tom Bayliss QC told King his actions risked putting an inexperienced pilt at the controls of a helicopter.
A Middlesbrough man's among 19 people who've survived a helicopter ditching in the North Sea. 32 year old Jonathan Garcia was one of a team of oil workers being ferried from Aberdeen to a rig 86 miles north-west of Shetland. Rescue helicopter found all involved safe and well.