AAR starts SAR operations for U.K MOD in the Falkland Islands
AAR has announced its Airlift division has commenced operations for search and rescue (SAR) and support helicopter (SH) services for the U.K. Ministry of Defence in the Falkland Islands.
AAR Airlift Group, together with British International Helicopters (BIH) and Air Rescue Systems (ARS), is delivering turnkey SAR and Support Helicopter services to the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) operations. Team AAR is providing Finmeccanica AW-189 SAR helicopters, Sikorsky S-61N support helicopters, flight operations, maintenance, logistics, facilities support, and personnel management at the Mount Pleasant Complex in the Falkland Islands and the surrounding maritime region. The mission includes 24/7/365 all-weather SAR, helicopter emergency services, rescue hoist operations and passenger and cargo transfers.
Following award of the 10-year, $275 million (£180 million) contract in January 2015, AAR sourced two new AW-189 aircraft customized by Finmeccanica to meet the program requirements. The aircraft were accepted in November 2015. This program premiers the first Civil Aviation Authority approved AW-189s operating in a SAR role.
“AAR has integrated a team of industry experts to deliver to the U.K. Ministry of Defence a sophisticated commercial SAR service fit for a military and civil application, the first operation of its kind,” said Steven B. Harrison, President, AAR Airlift Group. “We are committed to providing a reliable, quality SAR service that maintains the standards of the Royal Air Force, as well as continued excellence for the commercial support helicopter services.”
AAR Airlift Group provides expeditionary airlift services in support of contingency operations worldwide. The Company provides passenger and cargo transport, air ambulance, night vision operations, search and rescue (SAR), airdrop, and other special mission services. AAR Airlift Group includes Rotorcraft Services, a provider of engineering and design for rotorcraft modifications and completions, asset sales, component repair, life cycle support programs, and field maintenance. AAR Airlift’s fleet of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft serves defense and NGO customers in Afghanistan, Africa, the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, and now the Falkland Islands. Since 2005, AAR Airlift Group has flown more than 242,000 hours, delivering over 302 million pounds of mail and cargo, and transporting more than 1.9 million passengers in remote and austere locations around the globe.