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New helicopters give better preparedness in the Arctic

Norway will place two Super Puma all-weather helicopters on Svalbard. The one on the photo is owned by the Icelandic Coast Guard. (Photo: Vtolblog)

Rescue capacities on Svalbard will double when new Super Puma all-weather helicopters are based on the Arctic archipelago in 2014.

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As a consequence of increased activity and larger areas of responsibility in the High North, the Norwegian Government has decided to improve capacities for search and rescue on Svalbard. 

The Tromsø-based company Lufttransport has won a tender to operate search and rescue (SAR) services for the Governor of Svalbard. The six years contract has a NOK 1,3 billion (app €177,4 million) price tag.

Lufttransport will have to Super Puma AS332L1 helicopters capable of conducting SAR in Arctic areas operational on Svalbard from April 1, 2014. The helicopters are equipped with the newest technology for search and improved equipment for communication and safety. They can take aboard up to 18 persons within a radius of 120 nautical miles. 

“This means that we strengthen the emergency preparedness on Svalbard. We want to secure Norway’s abilities to take responsibility for rescue in our own and adjacent areas”, says Minister of Justice and Public Security Grete Faremo to the ministry’s web site