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Lydd Airport confirmed as permanent base for south east’s search and rescue helicopters

The UK Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter services in the South East will be permanently based at Lydd Airport confirmed the Department for Transport yesterday (13 April).

The search and rescue service has been operating from Lydd Airport temporarily since August 2015, but this announcement means that the operators, Bristow Helicopters Ltd, are now able to proceed with plans to build a new £7 million hangar at the airport.

The new hangar will house two state-of-the-art search and rescue helicopters that will operate a lifesaving service around the clock.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:

"The UK Coastguard’s Search and Rescue Team in Lydd already play a vital role in emergency lifesaving operations in the South East and the decision to make this the permanent base for the service will be much welcomed by the crew and the operator.

"This will give the crew real certainty about their future with the service, allowing them to put down roots in the local community, and will allow Bristow Helicopters Ltd to push ahead with their plans to build a new, state-of-the-art facility."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency and its contractor Bristow Helicopters will be working closely with the airport owners and the local community at Lydd over the coming months as the development of this new facility starts.

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