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South Australia Police introduces new Airbus H145 helicopter

South Australia Police Press Release | July 8, 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

South Australia Police (SAPOL) has partnered with Babcock Australasia and the Department of Premier and Cabinet to introduce a new cutting-edge resource to its fleet.

The new Airbus H145 helicopter, poised to take to the skies in the coming weeks, promises to revolutionize police operations across the state.

One of the standout features of the Airbus H145 is its significantly reduced noise profile. This improvement addresses concerns raised by the community in the past.

The helicopter’s infrared technology assists in locating missing persons, tracking offenders who break into premises, and monitoring high-speed vehicles endangering other road users.

The Airbus H145 will initially undergo rigorous training, with pilots and aircrew honing their skills to ensure seamless integration into SAPOL’s existing capabilities.

Upon completion of training, the new aircraft will replace the current one, which will continue to operate alongside it during the training period. This strategic transition ensures uninterrupted service while embracing modern technology.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said, “This modern addition enhances our operational capabilities and ensures a safer South Australia for all residents.”

PolAir plays a pivotal role in supporting ground officers, enhancing community safety, and swiftly responding to incidents. Approximately 50 percent of demand for the police helicopter arises during darkness, emphasising its critical role in apprehending serious offenders.

The new Airbus, although not introducing novel capabilities, boasts updated technologies, ensuring SAPOL remains agile and responsive to community needs.

The Airbus H145 will be exclusively dedicated to law enforcement, allowing us to deploy it whenever operational demands arise. SAPOL remains committed to minimizing unnecessary flight time, ensuring the helicopter is airborne only when required.

“The Government is supporting SA Police with the latest equipment to tackle crime and keep the community safe,” said Dan Cregan, emergency services minister.

“This state-of-the-art technology will help achieve a new standard in aerial law enforcement. Increasing officers’ ability to respond quickly – with reduced noise for residents below – is an important part of the boost to our emergency helicopter service.”

“As part of its long-standing partnership with the State Rescue Helicopter Service, Babcock has recruited and trained four new pilots to crew the helicopter, providing a third line of flying for emergency service personnel,” said Andrew Cridland, Babcock Australasia – CEO.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to deliver this latest generation aircraft with a configuration that has been designed in collaboration with SAPOL to best suit its needs.

“This new twin-engine helicopter is quieter, faster, lighter, more manouverable and more fuel efficient than the outgoing aircraft and will provide a critical uplift in capability for the South Australian Police Force. We are proud to be working alongside the State Rescue Helicopter Service and the community to create a safe and secure world, together.

During the transition from the old to the new aircraft, there will be increased helicopter activity.

This press release was prepared and distributed by South Australia Police.

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