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Bristow Ireland Ltd has taken another step towards fulfilling its Irish Coast Guard contract with approval of an air operator certificate by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

The air operator certificate is a “fundamental requirement to provide search and rescue in Ireland," Neil Ebberson, Bristow director of government services said.

"It was awarded after the successful completion of a lengthy application and assessment process run by the IAA, and ensures the highest standards of professionalism and safety are met in the country,” he said.

Bristow Ireland was required to demonstrate that its AW189 helicopters will meet the Irish regulator's requirements for safe and compliant operations as part of the approval procedure.

It also had to submit detailed documentation to show that it can safely manage continued airworthiness; demonstrate that it can safely operate the AW189 to the required standards; and carry out a proving flight with the AW189 in Ireland.

Ebberson said that Bristow’s fixed-wing partners, TOEXCEL Ireland Ltd, are “working in parallel for the award of a fixed-wing air operator certificate.

“We are looking forward to reporting more progress as we move towards the initial transition to the new service in late 2024,”Ebberson said.

Bristow is due to take over the Irish Coast Guard helicopter search and rescue contract from CHC Ireland next year. It has air operating certificates covering 11 jurisdictions.

Published in Coastguard
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