6-Mar-2013 Source: American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter continues to lead the U.S. airborne law enforcement market, maintaining a 55 percent market share over the last decade with a product line that has become the industry standard.
With 280 Eurocopter aircraft operating in federal, state and local law enforcement units, operators cite reliability, versatility and cost effectiveness as key factors in choosing Eurocopter helicopters.
The most popular Eurocopter aircraft in law enforcement is the AS350 series, with more than 205 currently in service. U.S. Customs and Border Protection operates more than 90 of those. The EC135 and EC120 also are high on the law enforcement list. In the last 10 years, more EC120s have been purchased for U.S. law enforcement agencies than any other light single engine helicopter on the market.
”From our entry level EC120 all the way up to the AS332L1 Super Pumas in use by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Eurocopter products dominate the U.S. law enforcement market,” said Ed Van Winkle, American Eurocopter’s Sales Manager for Airborne Law Enforcement. “Modern safety features, including energy-attenuating seats, glass cockpit displays, and advanced hydraulics and FADEC systems, complement the multi-mission capability of our helicopters for law enforcement agencies and keep us on the leading edge of the industry.”
The Austin (Texas) Police Department (APD) currently uses a Eurocopter EC120 to provide support for patrol officers in a variety of ways, including aerial searches for criminal suspects or lost persons, crime scene support and aerial photography.
In April, APD will take delivery of a new AS350 B3e, increasing their current mission capabilities. The new aircraft, which will be in service by late summer, will be called on for tactical insertions and transport missions when personnel must be deployed quickly. The new aircraft also will have water drop capabilities allowing APD to partner with local fire departments, as well as Travis County STAR Flight, which operates three EC145s in its EMS and firefighting fleet.
“Austin is unique in that it has more green space than other cities in the U.S., including an abundance of oak and cedar, making fire dangers inherent,” said Lt. Kurt Rothert, officer in command of APD Air Support. “One of the key considerations in choosing the AS350 B3e was the versatility of the aircraft and its ability to support numerous types of missions, including the Bambi Bucket for firefighting. It also can be reconfigured in very little time, as few as 30 minutes or less in some cases, for other missions. That is critical for our success.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office (Ft Lauderdale, Fla.) took delivery of their third EC135 in late February. It will soon join the Broward County fleet in conducting med-evac and law enforcement patrol duties. An American Eurocopter customer since the 1990s, Broward County has gradually replaced their single-engine AS350s with EC135s.
“The EC135 is a great platform for our dual mission role, which consists of 90 percent law enforcement and 10 percent on-scene trauma transports,” said Deputy Christine Ponticelli, supervisor for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit. “The size is ideal. It is maneuverable to perform our law enforcement calls such as patrol support, pursuit, search and rescue, and SWAT deployment, yet still able to transport two medical patients.”
“We have been very satisfied with the Eurocopter products and have been customers for many years,” Ponticelli said. “Our future plans are to trade in our EC130 for a fourth EC135, which will save us additional time and money by standardizing the fleet.”
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.