New Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter at Prestwick Airport
From early May, the south-west coast of Scotland will see a new Coastguard search and rescue helicopter in the skies.
The new Leonardo AW189 helicopter is the first of two AW189s that will operate from the Coastguard base at Prestwick Airport. It will spend the next few months flying in the area on training missions before it starts operational duties from July 2017. Search and rescue work at Prestwick will, in the meantime, continue to be fulfilled by two Coastguard Sikorsky S-92 helicopters which have been stationed at Prestwick while the new AW189s were put through their paces.
Captain Craig Sweeney, Chief Pilot at Prestwick, said: “It is a huge privilege for my crews and I to introduce the new AW189 aircraft into search and rescue operations. The aircraft is state of the art and has the agility and flexibility to respond to the wide spectrum of search and rescue taskings within our operating area. As always, we will make every effort to minimise noise disturbance from our helicopters on the local community, but ask you to please bear with us during this short period while the crews undergo essential training on the new aircraft.”
The new AW189 helicopters will be registered as G-MCGT and G-MCGR and are operated by Bristow Helicopters Limited on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.