The two helicopters were delivered new in 1982 to the Brazilian Federal Police, who operated them until they were put into storage – one in 2011, and the other in 2014. Both aircraft are equipped for Night IFR flights. After five years of storage, Brazil’s then Minister of Justice and Public Security Sérgio Moro put forward a proposal in February 2020 that they be donated to the government of Paraguay.
The plan was that the aircraft could be used to patrol their border with Brazil, a route widely used for drug trafficking. Some 20 months after it was first raised, the proposal has been accepted this week. The receiving government will need to bear the cost of getting the pair airworthy.
The project will also need to be ratified by the Foreign Affairs and National Defence commissions, as well as Government departments involved in Public Security and Combatting Organised Crime, and also Finance and Taxation, Constitution, Justice and Citizenship. However, these are seen as relatively low hurdles following this week’s nod.
Further research suggests that the aircraft had been offered to the police forces of the Brazilian states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande de Sul, but both declined due to the high cost of getting them back in the air after a number of years in storage.
The Brazilian Federal Police will bear the cost (around US$18,000) of transporting the 412s to their new owners. This involves a road journey of just short of 1,000 miles from their hangar at Brasilia’s international airport to the city of Foz do Iguaçu on the border, where the transfer to Paraguay will take place.