National Police Air Service (NPAS)

NPAS Operations

From our national network of 15 airbases, the National Police Air Service provide air support to the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

Our helicopters are only able to fly on tasks if they have been assigned to them by our National Operations Centre, based in Wakefield. All requests for air support throughout England and Wales are now made through this one central point.

To meet the criteria to receive air support, police officers have to demonstrate that a significant level of threat, risk or harm is posed to an individual, to communities or to property and that a police helicopter is required to support police officers on the ground in their response.

Before, during and after all flights, our helicopter crews are in continuous radio contact with our National Operations Centre, not only to ensure that stringent national safety requirements are met but also that real-time information about the location of our full fleet is available across our organisation to aid decision-making and the prioritisation of resources.

As a national policing operation, the relative threat, harm and risk posed by tasks is continuously assessed as new information becomes available. Our full fleet of  aircraft is available to meet the demands of UK policing on a borderless basis, meaning that the nearest available aircraft and crew are sent in response to tasks, whether they are airborne at the time or taking off from one of our network of airbases or elsewhere. This approach necessitates continuous contact with our National Operations Centre, and unbroken monitoring of our helicopters and crews.

For non-emergencies dial 101
In an emergency always dial 999