Client Profile: Faroe Islands Search and Rescue

Heavenly Responders

Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately 320 kilometers (200 mi) north-northwest of the United Kingdom, the Faroe Islands are a unique location for aviation operations. With a total area of about 1,400 square kilometers (540 sq mi) of land and ocean and a population of 54,676, the islands present a challenging operating environment. The subpolar oceanic climate is windy, wet, cloudy, with cool temperatures, and the islands are known for extremely mixed weather and rapid weather changes, rough seas, rugged terrain, and steep mountains.

Since 1994, Atlantic Airways has operated helicopters for scheduled passenger flights, sling operations and HEMS/SAR/HOIST operations since 2001. Starting with Bell 212 (later Bell 412 SAR) as the primary operating platform. The First AW139 was purchased in 2008, and since 2016, we have exclusively operated with fully SAR-capable AW139 helicopters.

Atlantic Airways hoist operator, Bjørn Sjúrður Patursson:

– With the challenging dynamic weather, we fly people to islands where you can’t drive or sail to (most of the year). The SAR/HEMS operations cover all 1,400 square kilometers (540 sq mi), where we do all kinds of missions, from hoisting people off steep mountains to rescuing people out of the rough seas, 200 nm out from the Faroese coast. Sometimes, we also fly into Norwegian or Iceland Sea territory to rescue people.

– We are a small team that works closely and intensely together. With our intense training in the simulator, classrooms, and outdoors in the Faroese nature and our burning passion for the job, we can stay at the top of our game and execute any mission that might come our way.

Atlantic Airways Aviation Academy

In 2022, Atlantic Airways founded the Atlantic Airways Aviation Academy, a testament to our commitment to training future professionals in the field of aviation. The Academy boasts the world’s most advanced and versatile sim, the AW139 simulator. This simulator, with its hoist simulator that shares the same mixed virtual reality, allows for team simulations of rescue operations, taking our training and performance to another level.


Read more about Atlantic Airways

Read more about Atlantic Airways Aviation Academy