THE COMPANY behind the move of search and rescue (SAR) missions from RAF Valley to Caernarfon Airport has submitted a planning application for an aircraft hangar.
Bristow Helicopters, which was awarded a contract by the UK Government to provide SAR services in 10 sites across the UK including Caernarfon Airport from 2015, has begun the process of transforming the airport.
The application, made by Deloitte on behalf of Bristow, outlines plans for a hangar to accommodate two new state-of-the-art Sikorsky S-92 helicopters.
The planned amendments to the airport are expected to cost around £7 million and create up to 35 new jobs.
Deloitte states in the application: “The proposed hangar building would be of a similar size and scale to existing hangars and structures at the airfield and would represent a reasonable and suitable extension to the existing airport, limiting any harm to the character of the landscape.
“The operation and use of the facilities is in keeping with airport operations and not deemed to give rise to unacceptable detrimental impacts on the amenity of neighbouring uses and the limited traffic generation will not have nay detrimental impact on the local road network.”
The contract awarded will see American company, Bristow, take over SAR missions from RAF Valley from 2015 to 2026, with the current fleet of Sea King helicopters at Valley due to be retired in 2016.
The planning statement added: “The wider benefits of the development of the proposed SAR facility are considered to be significant because of added benefits to the local economy and other multiplier effects.
“The public consultation exercise demonstrated overwhelming public support for the proposals, particularly in the light of the considerable benefits to the local economy.”
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “The application is in its early stages and as things stand it will be discussed by the Council’s planning committee in the autumn.”