Posts Tagged ‘helicopter’

Police Authority finally signs deal keeping helicopter at Filton

Posted on Thursday 15th November 2012 at 8:45 am by SH (Editor)

Helicopter of the the Western Counties Air Operations Unit.

Avon and Somerset Police Authority has today signed an agreement with the new National Police Air Service (NPAS) after months of hard negotiations.

Members of the Police Authority have been trying to agree a deal since last December to ensure Avon and Somerset’s helicopter remains in Filton, the police receive at least 700 operational hours a year and a better price for additional flying hours. Finally all their demands have been met.

Under the new initiative, police air support will cost around 14 per cent less than the current cost of the provision, about £1.3 million each year. In addition, the Authority will benefit from the national provision of new and replacement aircraft, saving at least 50 per cent of the planned capital costs over the next 10 years.

Police Authority Chair Dr Peter Heffer said:

“The Authority and the Constabulary have been working hard to get this deal. I am pleased that NPAS has finally recognised the operational need of this area and the geography and distances involved. Under the new system we will also have, as of right, the national air service to assist us, if we require it. We are satisfied with the result and the savings.”

NPAS is being introduced transitionally across the UK, with the South East region already live. The roll out will be complete by 2015 and there will be additional emergency helicopter cover via the NPAS despatch centre if it is required.

Source: Press release from Avon and Somerset Police Authority

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Police helicopter base to remain at Filton Airfield

Posted on Tuesday 24th April 2012 at 3:47 pm by SH (Editor)

Helicopter of the the Western Counties Air Operations Unit.

Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed that a police helicopter will continue to be based at Filton Airfield when the new National Police Air Service is launched.

In October 2012, the National Police Air Service will begin adopting responsibility for police air operations from individual forces to the new service.

In July 2013, Avon and Somerset will become part of the south-west region of the National Police Air Service. The move will create a national, borderless service which will ensure there is flexible, effective coverage for both urban and rural areas.

In recent months discussions have been underway with the National Police Air Service and other local forces about where the regional base will be for a police helicopter. Despite earlier fears that it might be moved to RAF Colerne in Wiltshire, it has now been agreed that Filton airfield will provide the best operational base for the police helicopter.

Making the announcement, Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen said:

“I am pleased to confirm that the police helicopter will be based at Filton. There are sound operational reasons for using Filton as a base and I am confident that we will continue to have a fast, reliable and effective air service in Avon and Somerset and the wider region.”

More: Filton to be one of 22 bases in England & Wales »


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