BIH begins £180m contract in Falklands Islands

BIH begins £180m contract in Falklands Islands

British International Helicopters (BIH), which has a base at Coventry Airport, has begun flight operations in the Falkland Islands following a £180m contract win last year.

After signing the 10-year contract, the British helicopter operator will undertake a range of assignments working alongside Britain’s military forces, including around the clock, all-weather search and rescue, helicopter emergency services, rescue hoist operations, and passenger and cargo transfers.

Two new AW-189 helicopters customized by Finmeccanica were sourced to meet the requirements set out by the UK Ministry of Defence for the search and rescue operation, and will be deployed alongside BIH’s existing Sikorsky S-61N support craft.

Sir Peter Rigby, founder of BIH’s owner Rigby Group, said: “This is a proud moment for British International Helicopters.

“The Falkland Islands assignment is a challenging one, demanding the very best from both craft and crew, and there are not many operators with the capabilities required to deliver it.

“That our crews should be the ones selected to fly alongside and meet the exacting standards of the Royal Air Force is testament not only to their skill, but also to BIH’s reputation as a trusted military and commercial partner.”

Paul Southall, managing director at BIH, added: “Although BIH has been operating alongside Britain’s forces in both the Falklands and the UK for many years, the commencement of this latest contract underlines the extent of our capabilities in the offshore and military sectors.”