Rescue 117 Base Secured For Waterford

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The future of Rescue 117 base in Waterford is secured following concerns it could be lost.

The Cabinet has agreed the format for the Request for Tender for the new contract for Ireland’s Search and Rescue services.

Green party TD Marc O’Cathasaigh says the posposal is that the tender documents will specify that the 4 existing locations be retained in the next Contract.

These are Sligo, Waterford, Shannon and Dublin with the next contract is expected to have a 10 year duration. 

Recently the Oireachtas members in the South East had lobbied Minister Eamonn Ryan on the importance of retaining the service with the 4 existing bases because a scoping document issued by the Department in respect of the tender had referred to “3 bases”.

The current contract for the SAR helicopter service is between the Department of Transport and a civil helicopter operator, CHC Ireland,  a Canadian owned firm.

The contract commenced on 1 July 2012 for a period of ten years, with an option to extend for a further three.

The existing contract was extended earlier this year for one year to 2023 to facilitate the lengthy procurement process and ensure compliance with the public spending code.

There have been many calls for the Irish Air Corps to be funded to be able to provide the service with the contract estimated to cost the taxpayer 700 million euros over a 10 year period.