NPAS extends its operations into London
The National Police Air Service (NPAS) has extended its operations into London with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) joining the service.
An NPAS base opened on 31 March 2015 at Lippitts Hill, with three EC145 helicopters able to reach all parts of the capital and beyond whenever air support is required.
Chief Superintendent Ian Whitehouse is the Accountable Manager for the service.
"This is excellent news for the communities of London. The whole idea of NPAS is that when air support is required the controllers on the ground make use of the nearest available aircraft. So before, when forces had their own aircraft, if that one was unavailable for whatever reason there was no back up.
“Now, as part of NPAS, if a helicopter is unavailable because it is on another task or is grounded for maintenance, then there are other aircraft, officers on the ground can call on for support. We have already seen the benefits of NPAS supporting the MPS from our NPAS Redhill and NPAS Boreham bases. Our strategy of the nearest available aircraft attending ensures value for money and improved response times.
“Since starting in October 2012, NPAS has been developing its operational structure and providing increased coverage for communities and financial savings for forces.
“Between April 2014 and December 2014 the service was engaged in a total of more than 33,000 tasks for the force areas it serves and helped to locate more than 1800 missing people during the same time period.
“The overarching principle of NPAS also means that individual forces have saved money on their previous air support provisions. As a single entity covering all of England and Wales we have been able to make substantial savings on services such as insurance and maintenance.
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Wednesday 1st April 2015
“NPAS provides a national, borderless service making use of the nearest aircraft. The underlying principle of the service is a national service, regionally coordinated for local delivery.”
Chair of the NPAS Strategic Board, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "Clearly the entrance of the Metropolitan Police into NPAS marks a significant step forwards in establishing it as a truly national, borderless service.
"As a single entity covering England and Wales, NPAS has already delivered substantial savings and given the severe cuts to our policing budgets, represents the best way forward in providing police air cover for the UK.
"The underlying principle of the service is a 24/7 national service, regionally coordinated for local delivery and is part of a national collaboration agreement supported by the government and I very much welcome the MET joining NPAS.”