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In 2012, Bristow Helicopters was awarded the UK Gap SAR contract for Northern Scotland.

Under the contract, Bristow delivers search and rescue helicopter services on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency from bases at Stornoway in the Western Isles and Sumburgh in the Shetland Isles.

Operations from Sumburgh began on June 1, 2013, and from Stornoway on July 1, 2013. The contract will continue until 2017 when both bases will transition to the UK SAR contract, which is also operated by Bristow Helicopters.

Two state-of-the-art Sikorsky S-92 helicopters are located at each base, with a radius of action of over 250 nautical miles.

Bristow Helicopters has a long history of providing search and rescue helicopter services in Northern Scotland, having originally provided search and rescue operations from the Gap SAR locations from 1983 to 2007. In November 2013, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of civilian search and rescue helicopter operations from Sumburgh.