Moray’s MP has taken up the case for an important SAR helicopter to be handed over to the community when they are withdrawn from service at the end of March.
Angus Robertson has written to the UK Defence Secretary urging that he support Morayvia’s bid to retain a Sea King in Moray and allow it to be a centrepiece to their ongoing aviation heritage work.
Mr Robertson had previously lobbied the Ministry of Defence in support of a successful bid by Morayvia to retain a Nimrod in Moray following the decision to decommission the maritime patrol aircraft fleet.
Now the MP has joined a raft of cross-party politicians, celebrities and thousands of members of the general public in urging defence chiefs to allow a Sea King to join the Nimrod as part of the planned Science & Technology centre at Kinloss to be operated by Morayvia.
Mr Robertson said: “With the success of the Nimrod project very visible for anyone travelling between Kinloss and Findhorn Morayvia has, in a relatively short space of time, clearly demonstrated its energy and expertise in aviation heritage.
“The MoD must commit to working with the organisation to support a long lasting legacy for the much loved and iconic Sea King Helicopter here in Moray, where it is a common sight flying over the region to provide support and rescue to people in distress.
“Sea King’s have been a real workhorse in helicopter rescue with incredibly brave crews doing a challenging but vital life-saving job.
“Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the decision to change the way helicopter rescue services are provided it would be a real shame not to be able to see a Sea King in Moray in the future.
“Morayvia’s well considered plans to retain a retired Sea King in Moray thoroughly deserve the MoD’s support on the back of the already substantial public backing they have.
“I have written to the Secretary of State for Defence urging him to look positively at Morayvia’s plans and give his department’s support to make them a reality.
“I will also speak directly to Ministers at the first available opportunity to ensure they are fully aware of this important project.”
People can support the bid by joining the online Facebook campaign.
Meanwhile insideMoray is currently offering a unique print of a Sea King that was flow on the first SAR mission of 2015 on New Year’s Day and subsequently signed by the crew. Details can be found at http://insidemoray.scot/auction/.