28-Jan-2010 Source: HAI
HAI is pleased to announce the 2010 MD Helicopters Law Enforcement Award recipient, the New Zealand Police Air Support Unit; Auckland, New Zealand.
The New Zealand Police Air Support Unit (ASU), â€œOperation EAGLE,â€ was formed in November 1988 as a three-month trial using airborne police officers to combat rising crime in the city of Auckland. The enormous success of this trial has led to a comprehensive 21-year operation.
Operations began with a Bell Jet Ranger, followed by a Hughes 500. In March 1989 the decision was made to acquire a twin engine helicopter, and an Aerospatiale AS355 was brought into service. As workload increased, it was recognized that additional support was required, and in July 1991 a second AS355 was added. For the period between June 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009, the unit completed 3,403 missions, and the two helicopters now have a combined airframe time of 40,000 flying hours. The aircraft are periodically upgraded with the latest technology to meet the demands of their varying roles.
The ASU is primarily located in Auckland, covering an area of land and sea of approximately 6,700 square miles. However, the unit is also utilized New Zealand-wide, covering an area of approximately 103,000 square miles. The ASU consists of one Sergeant and seven Tactical Flight Officers working two-man shifts between 0700 hrs and 0300 hrs. From routine incidents to serious criminal activity, the ASU plays an integral role in support of Police specialist squads such as the Armed Offenders Squad, Special Tactics Group, and VIP Protection Service. The ASU also supports Fire, Ambulance, Defense Force, Coastguard, Customs, and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry operations.
The ASU is the only Police air support unit in New Zealand and works hard to ensure that standards and procedures are equivalent to industry best practice around the world. HAI congratulates the New Zealand Police Air Support Unit for its contribution to the advancement of helicopter crime-suppression, and for the 21 years of continuous service it has given to the New Zealand public.
All winners will be recognized at HELI-EXPO 2010â€™s annual â€œSalute to Excellenceâ€ Awards Banquet on February 22, 2010 in Houston, Texas. For more information about the 2010 â€œSalute to Excellenceâ€ Awards, contact HAIâ€™s Communications Department at 703-683-4646, fax: 703-683-4745, or email: email@example.com. For more information on HELI-EXPO 2010, visit www.rotor.com.