Bulgaria’s 3 Border Patrol Helicopters Grounded over Lack of Insurance
The three Augusta helicopters that are supposed to be patrolling Bulgaria’s borders with Serbia, Macedonia, and Turkey have been grounded at the airport in Bezmer due to the lack of aviation insurance.
In November 2014 Bulgaria’s Border Police unit launched a public procurement procedure for the insurance of the three helicopters, according to reports of Pressa daily.
Insurance company Bul Ins won after making the best bid.
However, the procedure was appealed before the Commission for Protection of Competition by a competitor, Generali, and the signing of the insurance contract was blocked.
As a result, the three helicopters have not been patrolling Bulgaria’s external land borders and the Black Sea coast since December 2014.
Bulgaria bought the three helicopters, including two AugustaWestland AW109 Power and an AugustaWestland AW139, in 2011 at the price of EUR 29 M.
The helicopters were bought with EU funding, which was provided to support Bulgaria’s efforts to join the Schengen Area and to enhance security at the EU’s external borders, plus national co-financing.
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