Air Corps may reclaim search-and-rescue role despite contrary advice

Since 2004, the €620 million ten-year contract has been outsourced to private corporations

The Irish Air Corps used to provide the marine search-and-rescue service but it withdrew from it completely in 2004, when the service was fully outsourced to the private sector

The Irish Air Corps could have a role in the next €620 million helicopter search and rescue contract, the Taoiseach has indicated, in a move which would be counter to a recommendation in a secret official report.

For the past eight years, the contract for flying around 800 search-and-rescue Irish Coast Guard missions annually has been outsourced to CHC Ireland, a subsidiary of the US-owned Canadian Helicopter Corporation. One of its Sikorsky helicopters, Rescue 116, ...