Newquay Airport launched its Coastguard helicopter this week, after Bristow Helicopters delivered its first new model to the Cornish base

The newest Coastguard helicopter was unveiled at Newquay airport yesterday, as part of the rollout of the Bristow Helicopters service.

In a ceremony held at the Cornish search and rescue base, the new arrival was welcomed by Coastguard officials and special guests.

Richard Parkes, director of maritime operations at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), said: “I am immensely proud to welcome the Newquay civilian base to the service.”

He also paid tribute to many decades of “outstanding work” from the base’s predecessor RNAS Culdrose.

The Newquay Coastguard helicopter base will be led by chief pilot Captain Mark Coupland, who served for 18 years in the Royal Navy before joining Bristow Helicopters in 2002.

Captain Coupland added: “The whole team here at the base feels very privileged to be involved in delivering this vital public service and we are looking forward to getting started.”

The Newquay base will start receiving taskings from the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) in January.

The introduction of new Coastguard helicopters from Bristow is part of a ten-year £1.9bn contact that was awarded to the private company by the government in March 2013.

The first Bristow Helicopters model went into service at Humberside and Inverness in April 2015.

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