Suffolk: Sea King Helicopters Move From Wattisham

26 March 2013, 12:53 | Updated: 26 March 2013, 13:11

The RAF Sea King helicopters are going to be moved away from Wattisham Airfield after the privatisation of search and rescue services.

The Department for Transport have told Heart the RAF Sea Kings based at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk to RAF Manston in Kent when the privatisation happens in 2017.

The American company Bristow have been given the contract and say they'll bring in new helicopters that will cut response times.  Bristow operate helicopters out on Norwich Airport to the oil rigs but it's not thought search and rescue services will come here.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

"Our search and rescue helicopter service plays a crucial role, saving lives and providing assistance to people in distress on both land and on sea.

"With 24 years of experience providing search and rescue helicopter services in the UK, the public can have great confidence in Bristow and their ability to deliver a first class service with state of the art helicopters."