6-Sep-2021 Source: Government of Western Australia
The McGowan Labor Government has today announced funding for a second police helicopter to give WA Police access to the newest and most advanced air support available, as part of the 2021-22 State Budget.
$27.5 million will be spent to purchase and operate a new police helicopter, which is in addition to the new helicopter already being built for WA Police.
The announcement means WA Police will become the first law enforcement jurisdiction in the southern hemisphere to operate two new state-of-the-art Airbus 5-bladed H145 helicopters.
The $27.5 million commitment will see the Eurocopter Dauphin, which was originally acquired in 2011, replaced.
The funding includes $7.6 million for operating and maintenance costs, along with the recruitment of two licenced aircraft engineers to be based at Jandakot.
This new investment means the McGowan Government is now investing more than $54 million in upgrading the Police Air Wing fleet, with delivery of the first new police helicopter scheduled for next year.
The upgraded aerial capability will strengthen community safety, by allowing WA Police to provide critical air support to emergency police responses.
Maintaining a fleet of two identical helicopters will also generate operational efficiencies and result in a greater number of annual flight hours available.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
“Our police helicopters provide vital support to police operations across the State. The new helicopters will boost police capability to respond to emergencies and crime.
“Our police do a terrific job right across the State, and my Government is committed to providing the best and latest equipment to help keep Western Australians safe.
“Our prudent, sensible approach to Budget management means we have the capacity to invest in key services, including equipment like this and the recruitment of hundreds of new police officers.”
Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia:
“On the ground and in the skies, we’re ensuring our police have a strong presence to keep our community safe.
“These new helicopters will be fitted with the latest avionics equipment and be able to deploy more rapidly than our existing aircraft.
“It means our police can be airborne within two minutes, compared to the 10 minutes it currently takes.
“This is especially important in emergency situations when every second counts.”