Warton Police Helicopter gets stay of execution

National Police Air Service Delay Base Closures

National Police Air Service are to delay shutting three Helicopter Air Support UnitsLancaster, Lancashire, United Kingdom, 24th February 2016,Due to Delays in securing Home Office Funding for the of four Vulcanair p 68R fixed wing aircraft which are more economic to operate than helicopters the NPAS is to delay the retirement of the helicopters at Warton in Lancashire, at Tees Valley in the North East of England and at Wattisham in Suffolk.The National Polices Air Service is being reorganised into a 15 base model operating a mix of 19 helicopters and 4 new Vulcanair P.68R fixed wing aircraft. There has been a delay in securing the funding from the Home Office for the fixed wing aircraft and the NPAS Board have delayed the closure of the three helicopter bases until the fixed wing aircraft are in place.It is now expected that the fixed wing aircraft will be delivered between April 2017 and March 2018.The Police Air Support units will be based at Newcastle, Wakefield, Husbands Bosworth, Barton, Hawarden(Fixed Wing base – (subject to contract negotiations)), BirminghamBoreham (A new base to cover the London region (subject to contract negotiations))Benson, Filton, St Athan, Redhill, Bournemouth and Exeter.So far this year the bases at Rhuddlan closed 15 September 2015, Halfpenny Green closed 1 January 2016, Ripley closed 31 January 2016, Sheffield closed 1 February 2016 and the base at Pembrey closed 1 January 2016 but is currently operating as a forward operating base.IllustrationIMG_0456 & 0457Photographed supporting Lancashire Police ground units over Lancaster is the Tees Valley Airbus Helicopters EC-135, Helicopter NPAS33, which is from one of three Police Helicopter Air Support Units which are to be kept open until April 2017. IMG-2270Lancashire Police Air Support Units EC-135 helicopter photographed over Morecambe200.jpgLancashire Police Air Support Units EC-135 helicopter photographed over Morecambe by David Billinge

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