In 2009, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) undertook a review of the 1993 National Air Operations Strategy. The review concluded that the existing arrangements for the delivery of air support were highly fragmented and did not provide value for money.
Based on the recommendations, a joint ACPO/National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) NPAS project team, headed by Hampshire Chief Constable Alex Marshall QPM as the ACPO lead on air operations was established.
In October 2010, Chief Constable Alex Marshall presented a paper at Chief Constables’ Council that set out three options for the future delivery of air support across England and Wales. The agreed option involved reducing the number of air bases and aircraft by moving to a national model of delivery and by making changes to the size and organisation of the fleet. Through further consultation with individual Police Forces and Police Authorities, the model has been refined and involves a reduction from 30 to 22 bases delivering savings of around 20% of current costs.
Under the 22 base model, the aircraft fleet will be reduced from 31 aircraft to 25 aircraft to provide coverage when other aircraft are undergoing scheduled maintenance, refurbishment or repair. This will increase overall aircraft availability by 8%.
Under the National Collaboration Agreement for NPAS West Yorkshire Police is the lead force and are responsible for the delivery of the service. This ensures that NPAS is led and owned by the police service and delivers the operational benefits and financial savings that have been presented to individual police authorities.