Up to now, Norway has had a single police helicopter – a1 Eurocopter EC135T2 based at Oslo-Gardermoen Airport (ENGM) and operated by Pegasus Helicopter.Â They have operated it since April 2004.Â A second helicopter was promised and funded after last Julyâ€™s terrorist attacks, and back in January, we reported that there was a delay in the bidding process.
Police Aviation News reported the following in their September 2011 edition in the light of investigation after delays in deploying the helicopter on the day of the the mass killings by Anders Behring Breivik on 22 July 2011.Â Â â€œIt has emerged that the police do not have theÂ resources to keep their one helicopter in continuous operation. Figures suggest that its level of availability may be as low as 33% this year. The annual cost of the helicopter currently available to Oslo police is $7.4Mâ€
We assume that they have moved on from this situation now.Â The Norwegian Police have now leased an EC135T2 previously operated by the UK’s Merseyside Police as G-XMII, and it was noted yesterday on a test flight out of Eurocopter UK’s base at Oxford in full Norwegian colours.Â The lease is for four years from 1st June 2012 and will initially provide cover for the first machine while it undergoes deep maintenance.Â On 31st May 2016 it is expected to revert to the UK where it will once again be an NPAS spare aircraft.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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