Local news outlets in Nevada are reporting that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have approval to buy a new Airbus H145, with delivery targeted for March 2017. The new helicopter will operate in the SAR role and replace one of two HH-1H helicopers which date back to the early 1970s. The Metropolitan Police Committee on Fiscal Affairs approved the purchase of the new helicopter Monday morning, after more than a year of discussions.
This will be the first twin-engined helicopter operated by the Metro Police. The unit’s current fleet consists of four MD530Fs and one Bell 407, alongside the two Hueys. The Air Support Unit operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and flies 6,000 hours annually.
Department CFO Rich Hoggan said that the price of $9.6M, including spares and training, is being offset by $1.6M from the sale of an existing aircraft, and $2M from a lawsuit settlement. Hoggan is also leading an initiative to seek an increase in fees at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead National Recreation Area to help support the helicopter SAR operations. The department said it averages 160 rescues each year.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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