Soteria Search and Rescue
Soteria Search and Rescue was a UK-based consortium which, from February 2010 to February 2011, was the preferred bidder for the contract to run all UK civilian search and rescue helicopter services from 2012 onwards.
In 2006, the UK Government announced controversial plans to effectively privatise provision of search and rescue helicopters in order to replace the aging Westland Sea Kings currently in use, although it suggested that crews might, at least partially, still be made up of military personnel. This programme was named SAR-H.
Formed to take part in a competitive process announced in 2006 by the British Ministry of Defence, Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to create a single helicopter SAR programme in the UK, the group was a consortium of the following four companies, each providing its own area of expertise:
- CHC Helicopter
- Thales Group
- Royal Bank of Scotland (withdrew from the consortium in late 2010)
The aircraft chosen by Soteria was the Sikorsky S-92, already a proven airframe in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. Soteria projected to utilise a fleet of 24 S-92s to deliver the SAR-H service from 12 bases around the UK.
In February 2010, Soteria SAR was announced as the preferred bidder for the UK SAR-H programme.
On 8 February 2011, days before the contract was due to be signed, the UK Government halted the process after one member of the Soteria consortium admitted that it had received commercially sensitive information on how the Ministry of Defence would commercially assess the bids from an MoD employee.
- "Press Release". Soteria SAR. 9 Feb 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
- "Search and rescue helicopter bid process is halted". BBC News. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- BBC (2006-05-09). "Private bids plan for air rescue". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
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