Two new Police POLAIR helicopters are set to take to the skies as part of the state’s crime fighting arsenal.
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services, Mark Ryan and Member for Gaven, Meaghan Scanlon joined Queensland Police Commissioner, Katarina Carroll on the Gold Coast today to announce a major investment in POLAIR.
Minister Ryan said the government investment would fund the purchase of two new POLAIR helicopters to replace the existing aircraft based on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane, and fully fund their operations for an additional 10 years from July 2022.
He said POLAIR was recognised as a critical airborne law enforcement capability, providing tactical aerial support to police operations including tracking offenders, searching for missing persons and providing real time situational awareness of major incidents.
“I’ve seen first-hand the QPS POLAIR crews on a busy operational patrol,” Mr Ryan said.
“And I’ve seen first-hand how POLAIR enhances officer safety and supports tracking of offenders by teams on the ground,” the Minister said.
Commissioner Carroll said POLAIR helicopters were available for tasking 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and each of the new helicopters had an operational capacity of at least 2,000 flight hours each year.
“POLAIR has a strong reputation of supporting frontline police officers, and today’s announcement will ensure this can continue,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“In recent times, POLAIR has assisted in locating a 60-year-old nurse, who was found injured after coming off her motorcycle and a missing 40-year-old kayaker in waters off Wellington Point.
“With the capabilities of POLAIR and our dedicated tactical flight officers, these are just two of many incidents our helicopters have embarked on with successful public safety outcomes which resulted in reuniting loved ones.
Ms Scanlon said the funding demonstrated a strong commitment from the Palaszczuk Government to community safety on the Gold Coast.
“It also demonstrates the total commitment of the government to supporting frontline police who work so hard each and every day to keep the community safe,” Ms Scanlon said.
An open tender process will soon commence for the delivery of the replacement aircraft to be based at Brisbane and the Gold Coast from July 2022.