Live updates

WATCH: New 'City of Bristol' military plane soars over suspension bridge

The RAF's new A400m military plane, christened 'City of Bristol' to commemorate the city's role in building it, has completed a fly-past over the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The name, described as a "special privilege" by the Ministry of Defence, is a positive development for the troubled project, which has seen a series of technical problems and delays.

Airbus, which designed and manufactured the plane's wings at its Filton site, recently shook up the management of the project.


ITV West Country's Alex Beresford takes to the skies!

You may know him as the man who presents your weather, but our very own Alex Beresford has tried his hand at something slightly different - wing walking!

Alex has been to the RFC Rendcomb Airfield in Gloucestershire, which is home to the world's only formation wing walking team.

As you can tell from these images, it looks like he enjoyed it!

Alex Beresford takes to the skies. Credit: ITV News Westcountry
Alex Beresford takes to the skies. Credit: ITV News Westcountry
Alex Beresford takes to the skies. Credit: ITV News Westcountry
Alex Beresford takes to the skies. Credit: ITV News Westcountry
  1. National

New rescue helicopters 'will reach larger area of UK'

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.

An RAF Sea King helicopter that will no longer be used under the new contract. Credit: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

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.


  1. National

Background to Search and Rescue privatisation

A Sea King helicopter Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The plans to privatise search and rescue helicopters were laid originally out by the Labour government in 2006.

The plans were controversial, and designed to replace the ageing Sea Kings that were currently in use.

Soteria SAR was announced as the frontrunning bidder in February 2010, but a year later it was prevented from acquiring the contract due to several issues with the conduct of their bid team, as well as forming part of the coalition government's spending review.

  1. National

Factfile: The Sea King helicopter

The Sea King helicopter has been in service for over four decades, with a distinguished history with the Search and Rescue service as well as other assignments.

  • The Sea King has operated in 10 wars and been involved in 15,000 rescue operations
  • It has saved more lives than any other aircraft
  • It is reportedly Prince William's favourite aircraft
  1. Chris Ship
  2. National

Govt to announce sell-off of Search and Rescue service

The government is set to announce that Britain's Search and Rescue service is to be sold off to an American firm.

Up until now, the operation has been run by the RAF, Navy and Coastguard Agency.

The firm will actually be awarded two contracts, because the service has been separated into two parts operating different types of helicopter.

An announcement is expected just before the stock market opens in the morning.

Load more updates