Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (229)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

229. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will outline the current status of the contract provided to an external body, CHC, to carry out the Irish Coast Guard helicopter operations; when the current contract was signed and when it expires; if he will update Dáil Éireann on the current rotation and upgrade of aircraft taking place within the Irish Coast Guard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29593/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The current contract for helicopter search and rescue services was signed by the then Minister for Transport in July 2010. The contract came into effect on the 1st July 2012, the Services Start Date, and will be in place for 10 years. There is an option to extend the contract for a period, or periods, of up to an additional 3 years for each or all bases.

Under the new contract the first S92A Sikorsky aircraft came into service at the Shannon base on 1st July 2012. The next two S92s arrived in the country this month from Scotland. The transition of the Sligo base is due to be completed next month subject to a successful audit while the Waterford base transition is due to be completed by October. The final base at Dublin is planned to transition by next December.