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  • #16
    what a load of complete rubbish

    Perhaps, but if you don't have the arguments to dispute what I say ...

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    • #17
      There is an international requirement to have SAR helicopters airborne within 15 minutes of a call during the day & 45 minutes at night (the extra time to allow the crew to wake from sleep).

      There are also requirements as to a helicopter being a certain distance from base within a specific time.

      Comment


      • #18
        Aidan - you are on a very frustrating path with this Andy character. He really doesn't have any idea of how government procurement works or how SAR operations are run. Logical, informed and reasoned arguments have no effect on him.

        Andy - I have 25 years SAR experience as a pilot including 12 years in the military and 13 years as a civilian SAR pilot (not with CHC). Having operated in both environments I can assure you that both are equally professional (a large number of crews are ex-military). The difference lies in the efficiency - a comparable civilian operation is run much leaner and therefore at a lower cost base.

        Having some experience of government procurement as well I can tell you that any Government working to a budget needs to have a firm projection of costs. A civilian operator gives this in the contract. Any unserviceablities, spares, consumables, accidents, training costs must be covered. Therefore if a SAR aircraft has an accident for instance, or the rear crew decide to all go sick - then the commercial operator must be in a position to still provide a 24 hour service. Not so the IAC. Add to that the cost of purchasing unproven new helicopters, training for 40+ pilots (who may then leave for Aer Lingus), crew, engineers, spares, fuel, simulator recurrency training etc, etc, etc and that may add up to more than your wildly inacurrate 900 million.

        Moderator - I apologise for telling Andy that he has his head stuck up his ar*se and promise not to do so again.

        Comment


        • #19
          Cuchulain,

          Having some experience of government procurement as well I can tell you that any Government working to a budget needs to have a firm projection of costs.
          A government needs firm projection of cost? Well that’s new isn’t it. Most of the infrastructure projects in this country from the port tunnel, luas, motorways, hospitals etc have been built by many private companies after a tender stage and submitted their overall completion price.

          Numerous infrastructure projects up and down the country haven’t met any “firm projection of cost”. Many have cost and time overruns. It’s not the private company which takes the increased cost, it’s the state.

          If you take a look at some of the public bodies, such as some of the county councils, or even I.E delivering on (conventional) rail they have actually delivered on their initial cost.

          The private sector does not guarantee better value for money, if you look back a few years ago, the government rented out 1 helicopter at the same cost as actually buying it.

          The private sector will provide SAR including training, the actual helicopters, repairs etc for the given price as long as there is no unforeseen problems. Should anything happen like there is a strike by pilots or increased operational cost, the state will have to pick up the pieces.

          The air corps will be involved in SAR, in case of any contingency, resulting in the private company not fulfilling its part of the contract. The air corps will have to provide some form of back up to the company. If the government was completely sure that the company would provide the service and this issue was done and dusted, it would have probably not included the winch in the utility tender. Nor would the government be currently revisiting the medium lift tender.

          The argument to privatise SAR for economic reasons is idiotic. The company said it will provide the service for €45 million a year, totalling €900million for 20 years.

          The state could purchase 4 S-92’s for €70 million which will last for 20 years. The operational costs for the state to operate 4 medium lift helicopters is modest. Wages in the Defence Forces are fixed, without the massive overtime associated with the like of the Gardai or the private sector.

          Included in that same €70 million were spare parts and training. Even without these items it is a long way from the €900 million. The operational costs for those medium lift helicopters wouldn’t exceed several million each year; while the government would have access to them should any emergency arise. This massive gap between what the air corps can provide at a given price and what the private sector can provide is too large to simply sweep it under the carpet. It’s an example of poor government.

          The only problem in that tender for the state was the fact that the S-92 was unproven. Its the governments mistake for not taking this factor into account.

          It’s widely accepted within the Defence Forces and government circles, the reason why Air Corps pilots were leaving was because they had no new aircraft for many years, moral was low and its role was ignored by the government. Since then, the government has addressed this issue and retention rates are very high. It should also be noted that there is expected to be a large surplus of pilots in the private sector in the coming years. Supply will exceed demand. The days of the Air Corps being a training school for the likes of Air Lingus are long gone.

          Comment


          • #20
            Seems like there is a simple conclusion to this.

            Andy, you have been presented with two seperate posters, each with some experience of the practicalities of these things, outlining extensively the many holes, flaws, mistaken assumptions and factual inaccuracies in your position; you've now gone and added another massive non-sequiteur in your last post which, to be honest and more out of pity than anything else, I won't go into.

            When this is broken down, it seems like you just want the Air Corps to have big shiny helicopters with tricolours on them, and are willing to construct any argument you can to sustain that dream. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but you really ought to take a more careful look at the facts. The "I know I'm right and no amount of facts can convince me otherwise" argument will only get you so far.

            Comment


            • #21
              When this is broken down, it seems like you just want the Air Corps to have big shiny helicopters with tricolours on them, and are willing to construct any argument you can to sustain that dream.
              Aidan, please take the time to re-read my posts. I neither care if SAR is carried out by the Aircorps or the private sector. I was simply pointing out that the Aircorps is the better option.

              ** withdrew remark regarding Cuchulain**
              Last edited by andy; 17 June 2004, 21:51.

              Comment


              • #22
                Andy, unless you've got good reason to suspect Cuchulain of misrepresentation you should apologise.
                "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

                Comment


                • #23
                  You're assertion that the Air Corps is the better option is based on such delicate (and often duplicitous) arguments however, and the weight of all the objective evidence points so heavily in the other direction, that an emotional motive seems the only rational explanation.

                  For example, you assert that the 4 base*(as in 4 helis on call) service would cost €45m per annum, totalling 900mill in 2004 prices over 20 years. However, the director of the Irish Coastguard, Mr Liam Kirwan, is quoted as saying in the Marine Times that '"the estimated cost of operating 3 Search and Rescue bases by a civilian operator will cost €19 million per year, that's for everything - for six helicopters, all training, flying hours, fuel and VAT at 21%." . So in effect, your headline figure of 900m is completely wrong.

                  Also, note the six helis? You want to do the job with 4. Note the fact that the tender was for 3, and now you reckon Sikorsky will throw in another for free? And the fact that the S-92 didn't actually win?

                  ?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Em hate to break up this really productive debate, but if the medium lift contract is genuinely under review, for what purpose in the light of recent noises from the DOD is this related to a possible future SAR requirement or for purely military usage?
                    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      sorry Cuchulain,

                      You're assertion that the Air Corps is the better option is based on .....evidence points so heavily in the other direction, that an emotional motive seems the only rational explanation.
                      Yes the air corps is a better option for SAR, primarily because of economic reasons, its dependable, etc

                      The director of the Irish Coastguard, Mr Liam Kirwan estimates are clearly wrong. He should consult the actual government figures of €30million for 3 or €45 for 4 helicopter.

                      I am in fact completly correct.

                      No Aiden, I dont expect Sikorsky to throw in free helicopters. And I did note that the only major problem with that tender was the fact that the S-92 is unproven.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Dependable? Sligo?

                        Andy, what are you basing this stuff on, other than your own certainties?
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                        With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

                        Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Mr Liam Kirwan estimates are clearly wrong

                          Mr Liam Kirwan signed the fecking contract for the 3 bases. He is not just the source, he is the head of the contracting authority. The figures you have (of 30mill) came from an unattributed source in a newspaper.

                          Your posts are riddled with errors, correcting you on all of them will take more time than I have. Lets just go with one more for the road.

                          The S-92 did not win the tender, the three types tested were all judged to have met the technical criteria (EH-101, S-92 and EC-725). On the basis of the tender criteria, the tender committee reported to the Minister for Defence that the EC-725 was the most suitable aircraft for the Air Corps. After this, Sikorsky pitched in with an offer to send business the way of FLS aerospace, and following pressure being applied to the Minister by North Dublin FF TDs, he overturned the decision of the Ctte and chose the S-92. This was on very dodgy legal ground, and left himself and the Dept open to legal action, which ensued. The tender then had to be cancelled, and is still under review to this day.

                          I am in fact completly correct.

                          That would be a first.

                          To answer C-Qs question, if this is indeed under review, the line I've heard (rumour) is that these are to be the two TTH helis from the original contract. Ties in with the Naval rumour de jure of a LPD type vessel.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Andy,
                            It's Captain Liam Kirwan, and after reading your threads it looks like you have lost the plot .The private contractor is heavily penalised for the likes of aircraft or aircrew going off line.This is the reason it doesnt happen very often.The Aer corp have been losing SAR in Ireland since the early nineties when Irish heli's won the contract in Shannon.SAR coverage have never been as good as it is now and alot of lives have been saved because of it .That's what it is all about.You are going to find that SAR in Europe is going to go the civie route.Why,it doesn't take a rocket scienctist to work that one out.Your argumemt about civie's striking is very weak considering what happened in Sligo.As for value for tax payers money would YOU like to hazard a guess as to how much was spent trying to get Sligo off the ground.Maybe you could tell me a tax payer what we have to show for it.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I havent lost any plot, nor or any of my posts "riddled with errors"

                              The main point im outining in this thread is the high economic cost this service is costing the tax payer, by privatising it out.

                              Also taking issue with the lack of a coherent government policy regarding helicopters and the Defence Forces.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Andy you haven't backed up your contention that the a/c provides a more cost effective SAR service, so it would be a great assistance to your case if you could provide the facts and figures.
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                                With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

                                Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

                                Comment

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