UK Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, announced Monday that the government intends to procure a new search and rescue (SAR) helicopter service using civilian crews. Following the cancellation of the SAR-H private finance initiative in February 2011, the Department of Transport decided to re-bid the 10-year contract with civilian crews. She praised Royal Navy and Air Force crews for delivering the SAR service for many years, stating that, “a fully civilian service will be able to maintain the same standards in the future.” The effort will keep intact the Ministry of Defence’s plans to retire its fleet of Sea Kings by March 2016. Contract award is expected in early 2013.
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