The Bristows Search and Rescue operation will take over responsibility for helicopter rescue in north Wales on 1 July 2015, as the operations of C Flight 22 Squadron at RAF Valley cease. The aircraft will operate from a specially designed facility at Caernarfon airport.
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency awarded Bristow Group a £2.5bn contract to operate 11 S-92s (and 11 AW189s) from 10 bases around the UK to provide Search and Rescue services, to replace the Royal Air Force's Sea Kings of 22 and 202 squadrons. The new aircraft is a modern design, replacing a venerable old aircraft with one with electronic displays, radar, night vision equipment and 2 winches as well as a rear access ramp.
Bristows Group previously operated rescue helicopters from 2 UK sites in Scotland, and in 2015 started a steady process of taking over services from the military Sea Kings operated by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. The vast majority of the crews are highly experienced search and rescue pilots and winch men.