GOV.UK releases the UK Search and Rescue Helicopters Post-Implementation Review


The UK Government online resource platform GOV.UK has released the UK Search and Rescue Helicopters Post-Implementation Review, which details the changes that have occurred in the UK Search and Rescue Helicopter (UKSARH) service

The Post-Implementation Review (PIR) was conducted by QinetiQ on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) in order to assess the effectiveness and performance of the transition to, and delivery of, the current UKSARH contract.

First, the report details that the UKSARH capability was transitioned from the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN) to Bristow Group in 2015 and the transformation to the current UKSARH Programme involved the following:

  • Operations: a reduction from four operators to one in order to standardise operations across the UK
  • Bases: A reduction of airbases (from 12 to 10), creation of new aviation facilities at seven of these locations and major refurbishment of the remaining three
  • Equipment: a change from multiple legacy aircraft (Sea King variants, AW139 and S-92) to two aircraft (AW189 and S-92) with appropriate certification and seamless transition between capabilities
  • Personnel: for some areas of the UK, a change from military crew and ground crew to civilian personnel
  • Governance: a change from military regulation under the Military Aviation Authority (MAA) to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), including achieving CAA approval for the service
  • Legislation: Addressing the impact of higher standards in how ‘place of safety’ is defined by legislation
  • Risk Management: A change in process from Permissive Risk Environment to Managed Risk Environment

The 20-page review draws on an approach that combined qualitative data and analysis, with a quantitative analysis of performance to identify and assess the performance of the UKSARH Programme against stated benefits; unintended or unexpected benefits; impact on other government departments; any failings or drawbacks associated with the programme; and changes which may realise greater value for money and provide opportunities for closer collaboration and innovation between stakeholders.

The overall aim of the analysis was to deliver impartial, data driven conclusions to help inform evidence-based decisions regarding the future of UKSARH, stated the review.

Read the full review here.