Austin Police Department have put a funds request in to the City Council for $3,745,000 to buy a new Eurocopter AS350B3 - and the request will be heard at their scheduled meeting on 28th June at Austin City Hall. The paperwork submitted indicates that this is ostensibly to replace their 1969-vintage Bell OH-58A.
There is currently a 15-18 month wait for a new fully-equipped AS350B3, and the Police state that a letter of intent will be required in July 2012 in order to have a unit delivered within this timeframe. Austin Police also operate a Eurocopter EC120 which is 11 years old and will thus be out of service in 2013 for a significant number of weeks having its 12-year overhaul completed. HeliHub.com considers the timing of the funds request is also driven by the EC120 overhaul.
The Austin Police Department Air Operations unit was organized in the fall of 2001. They provide aviation support to the Austin Police Department and emergency service providers within the Central Texas area. These missions include patrol support, searches for missing and wanted persons, aerial command and control of major events, narcotics eradication and interdiction, and real time situational intelligence to governmental agencies for natural and man-made disasters. During the wildfire season last year, the unit provided air surveillance of the fires in support of ground units. It was realized that there was a need in the City for a unit that could also deliver water for aerial firefighting.
The proposal includes the ability to use the AS350B3 in fighting wildfires, thus being equipped with buckets that may be filled from various water sources. This allows the helicopter crew to operate the bucket in remote locations without the need to return to a permanent operating base, reducing the time between successive drops.
William P Johnson – HeliHub.com US correspondent
- Nepal – Fishtail Air summarise their Spring season 2013
- “Head for home in IMC” – contributed to two fatal EMS accidents
- Belgium to Canada by AS350 was “on his bucket list”
- 11-Jun-13 N935EM Eurocopter AS350B2 Talihina, US-Oklahoma (1F)
- 08-Jun-13 N130PH Eurocopter EC130 Grand Canyon, US-Arizona
- 07-Jun-13 N106LN Eurocopter AS350B3 Grande Prairie, US-Texas
- Pylon Aviation places orders for six Eurocopter AS350s
- 05-Jun-13 I-LUPU Eurocopter AS350B3 Limavady, Italy
- Down one helicopter, Alaska State Troopers reorganize
- Spain – Sky Helicopters adds AS350B3e in Mallorca
- Canada – LR Helicopters take delivery of AS350B3e
- 03-Jun-13 N452LH Eurocopter AS350B2 Bethpage, US-New York
- Accident pilot’s blood alcohol test results disappear
- 30-May-13 PR-DJC Eurocopter EC130 Guaramiranga, Brazil
- Eurocopter complains about delay in Indian Army deal
- Canada – Vortex Helicopters takes delivery of AS350B3e
- Eurocopter to supply EC225 and AS350B3e to China’s State Grid General Aviation Company
- 22-May-13 Eurocopter AS350B3 Siellavagge, Sweden
- SHG receives its 70th Eurocopter
- New Helicopter Base in Valdosta Aimed at Saving Lives