ABOVE: The scheme will feature across all AW189 and fixed-wing aircraft

 The Irish Coast Guard has unveiled the new livery for its next-generation aircraft to be provided under a 10-year contract.

Six search and rescue (SAR)-configured AW189 helicopters operating around the clock will comprise the rotary-wing element of the new contract, awarded to Bristow Ireland Limited by the Department of Transport in August 2023. The AW189s will be based out of Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford.

Additionally, the Irish Coast will also benefit from its first dedicated fixed wing service, provided by 2EXCEL Ireland located at Shannon Airport. This will enhance the Coast Guard’s capacity to co-ordinate SAR missions and conduct environmental and ship casualty monitoring of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, an area spanning approximately 132,000 square miles.

“The new service will be introduced gradually over a phased basis with particular attention being paid to enable a smooth transition from the current operator to Bristow Ireland Limited. The release today of this livery for the new specialist aircraft which will replace the existing fleet marks another important step on the transition of our Coast Guard to the new service provision,” commented the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers.

Bristow was awarded an AOC by the Irish Aviation Authority earlier this month, something the Department of Transport describes as a ‘significant step in the transition to the new contract’.