MORAY IS SET to stage a permanent tribute of the work undertaken by staff at the Kinloss-based Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC).
The ARCC has been responsible for controlling UK rescue missions since its move to Moray in 1997.
However, changes in the way rescues in the UK are organised – which has included a switch from military-flown Sea Kings to a new contracted civilian service – has brought about the transfer of all ARCC operations to Fareham in Hampshire.
The switch was announced in March last year – now the transfer is under way, with the final closure of the Kinloss centre to be completed by the end of this month.
Now the Morayvia Science and Technology Centre at Kinloss are set to establish a permanent tribute to the men and women who served at the ARCC in Moray, part of their display that includes their own Sea King and a replica of the 202 Squadron crew-room from which rescue crews operated at RAF Lossiemouth.
Lamenting the departure of the ARCC, Morayvia Chief Executive Stan Barber said: “It is expertise but also all the connections they have, the technology they have and they know how to use it.
“That is what makes the difference, it is coordination that often results in successful rescues and the aircrew and helicopter at the end is the final piece of the jigsaw.
“Here at Morayvia we are looking to at least dedicate part of an exhibit that recognises the ARCC’s role in Search and Rescue.”
Aviation experts have reassured the public that the move of the ARCC will not have a significant effect on rescue services, as the global position of the ARCC has no real operational bearing.