Work has begun on the new National Police Air Service (NPAS) base in Almondsbury, South Gloucester which is due to be operational in autumn 2018. NPAS and Great Western Air Ambulance (GWAAC) will be housed at the new base funded by BAE Systems.
BAE Systems purchased the land in Almondsbury for use by GWAAC and NPAS as part of the agreement to sell Filton Airfield, where the services are currently based. The new base will replace the existing NPAS Filton site and be part of the national network of 15 bases from which NPAS operate borderless air support for the police forces of England and Wales. The base will predominantly serve the south west but as NPAS provide a borderless service and deploy the nearest available aircraft in response to the needs of police forces, the helicopter may provide air support elsewhere when appropriate.
Russ Woolford, Assistant Operations Director for the National Police Air Service, said: “Today is a significant milestone in the base move from Filton to Almondsbury as construction works begin. The new modern hanger will house the National Police Air Service helicopter and the Great Western Air Ambulance (GWAAC) helicopter.
“The base at Almondsbury will be part of the national, borderless network of 15 NPAS bases from which our crews support local police forces to keep communities safe.”
Anna Perry, CEO for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, said: “Everyone at GWAAC is so pleased that work is finally beginning. The charity is desperately in need of a modern air base and the great location will mean that even when we cannot fly our doctors and paramedics can get to patients quickly in our Critical Care Car. “
Mike Craddock, Programme Manager for BAE Systems, said: “I’m delighted that the construction work on the new Air Operation base at Almondsbury has started. The brand-new base will help both services continue their fantastic work for the region and we’re proud to be playing our part in this.”
NPAS exist to reduce the risk to communities by supporting local, regional and national policing. The new, modern base will allow operations to continue and will be operational 24/7/365 like all the other bases.
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