National Police Air Service (NPAS)

Delivering NPAS

We provide national air support from oui network of 15 UK bases. Each base consists of a Base Manager, Pilots and Tactical Flight Officers (Police Officers in the air). Each crew consists of the pilot and two Tactical Flight Officers (TFO). The pilot sits up front along with one of the TFO’s keeping eye contact with the ground and watching the skies for other aircraft. At an incident, the front TFO is responsible for controlling the camera systems and recording video footage for evidence in court. The other TFO sits in the rear of the aircraft and is responsible for navigation and map-reading and as well as command and control and all radio communications.

On any day we can be called upon to carry out any of the following tasks, which are undertaken by day and night, and in good and bad weather:

  • Search for missing people or where concerns have been raised for somebody’s welfare
  • Aerial surveillance of suspects and vehicles
  • Carry out photographic tasks for operational planning or evidential purposes
  • Carry out thermal imaging tasks
  • Quick transportation of personnel and equipment
  • Vehicle pursuits
  • VIP escorts and security duties
  • Provide command and control at incidents
  • Situational awareness and live video stream at Public Order and other critical incidents
  • Casualty Evacuation


NPAS Facts

4,000,000 miles flown a year

25,000 flying hours a year

365 days a year

155 miles per hour

43 police forces

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