2Excel Aviation, the innovative aviation company, has launched a bespoke five-year surveillance service and aircraft concept for the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to support a variety of ocean-based requirements, including search and rescue.

Ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 2Excel Aviation has agreed to provide two new King Air Surveillance Aircraft to the MCA. These first-of-its-type machines are designed to complement and enhance the MCA’s life-saving search and rescue, law enforcement, fisheries and pollution detection capabilities. The King Airs are operated by 2Excel’s Special Missions division, based at Doncaster-Sheffield Airport in South Yorkshire.

Arnie Palmer, Director of 2Excel Special Missions, said:

“At 2Excel we are highly skilled at quickly delivering complex concepts into capabilities and this contract with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is a shining example of that.

“Since the MCA contracted us to provide a complete solution to us flying the first mission in the King Air was just eight months. The work drew on expertise across 2Excel, including our Capability Development team – from integrated design, manufacturing and installation of the specialist mission equipment – to training our crews to operate the aeroplane.

“This prestigious contract is great news for the airport and local economy and has created a number of jobs in the aviation sector. Our facility at Doncaster-Sheffield Airport was chosen as the operating base due to its central location and 24-hour operating hours, which means we can deploy at short notice anywhere in the UK Exclusive Economic Zone.”

The capability builds on the MCA’s successful 2016 trial which concluded that fixed-wing aircraft are capable of rapid response, are economic and have enhanced endurance. This means that a fixed wing aircraft should be rapidly on scene, whilst conducting wide area search and co-ordinating response, thereby allowing helicopter assets to be employed on operations where they are most effective.

Based on the Beech King Air 200, the aircraft is fitted with a state-of-the-art, multi-spectral surveillance suite and co-ordinated through an integrated mission control system. Equipment includes the latest Leonardo radar system, HD Electro-Optical sensor turret, IR/UV line scanner and search and rescue (SAR) direction finder.

This level of integration significantly increases crew situational awareness whilst reducing operator workload. With integrated broadband satellite data and voice connectivity and line of sight broadband voice communications designed for multi-agency communications, this is a truly enabling capability, providing search command and control to the MCA and its partner agencies.

Notes to editors

Ben Griffiths                                                                                                                               ben.griffiths@2excel.uk

Head of Communications, 2Excel Aviation                                                                          +44 (0) 7753 464 637

About us

2Excel is an innovative aviation services business working across a range of industries including defence and security, engineering, events and disaster response. Activity is organised around two business lines: 2Excel Aviation, which comprises Capability Development, Special Missions and Charter; and 2 Excel Engineering, which is a Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) for Boeing and Airbus narrow-bodied aircraft.

Founded in 2005 by two Royal Air Force pilots, 2Excel has grown from five people and four aerobatic aircraft to over 400 people and a fleet of 30. In 2018, 2Excel Aviation became 51 per cent employee owned through the creation of an Employee Ownership Trust.

With an annual turnover of more than £45m, the rapid growth of the company’s business lines and capabilities has enabled 2Excel to become an emerging force in the market. Now entering the company’s 15th year, 2Excel is successfully bidding for and winning contracts against much larger competitors.

With bases at Sywell Aerodrome, Stansted Airport, Doncaster-Sheffield Airport and Lasham Airfield, 2Excel’s customers include Government Departments, the defence and oil industries, airlines and airline charter brokers.