New base for SAR helicopters at Newquay

Under the new contract, 22 state-of-the-art helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the UK.

Ten Sikorsky S92s will be based, two per site, at Stornoway and Sumburgh in Scotland, and at new bases at airports in Newquay in Cornwall, Caernarfon in Wales and Humberside.

Ten AgustaWestland AW189s will operate, two per site, from Lee on Solent and a new hangar at Prestwick Airport, and new bases which will be established at St Athan, Inverness and Manston airports

All bases will be operational 24 hours a day.

The new contract will be managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the same way as the existing contract that operates the Coastguard helicopter bases on the south coast and on the Western and Shetland Isles.

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Search and Rescue sell off

The Government has confirmed Britain's Search and Rescue service is to be taken over by an American firm. Two Sikorsky S92 helicopters will be based at Newquay, and half of the new fleet of 22 helicopters will be built at AgustaWestland in Yeovil.