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South Georgia: Rescue Services

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3414, tabled on 20 November 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition was denied approval to operate a rescue helicopter in South Georgia earlier this year.

Answered on

6 December 2017

‚ÄčThe Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands takes very seriously its responsibilities for the protection of the remote and environmentally sensitive territory it administers. The operating environment on the islands is such that the Government requires that any helicopter activity meets its stringent rules in relation to safety and environmental protection, consequently helicopter use is only permitted in exceptional circumstances, such as the recent South Georgia rodent eradication programme. Given the requirements of the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition it was not feasible to develop similar arrangements on this occasion in the timeframe available.