Tensions rise over Air Corps bid for search and rescue contract

Pilots’ group joins Irish Coast Guard boss in questioning the capability of the Air Corps to carry out effective rescues along east coast

The Air Corps is proposing to provide search and rescue services for the east coast of the country

A row over the state’s next search and rescue contract has deepened after a pilot’s union accused campaigners, who want the Air Corps to be awarded part of the work, of using “simplistic and ill-informed” arguments.

The current search and rescue contract with CHC Ireland, a private operator, is due to end in 2023. The Department of Transport is undertaking a consultative process ahead of putting the new contract, worth an estimated €700 million, out ...