It’s hoped a major Queensland Government investment in two new police helicopters will help to boost safety right across the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
The State Government unveiled the POLAIR investment alongside the Police Minister and Commissioner at a special press conference at Carrara today.
It’s understood the new choppers will replace the existing aircraft already based on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
However, Police Minister Mark Ryan said the funding will ensure the two new helicopters will have an operational capacity of at least 2,000 flight hours each year.
“POLAIR is 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,” he said.
“I’ve seen first-hand the QPS POLAIR crews on a busy operational patrol.
“And I’ve seen first-hand how POLAIR enhances officer safety and supports tracking of offenders by teams on the ground,” the Minister said.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the total investment package will fully fund POLAIR operations for an additional 10-years from July 2022.
“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.”
The funding has been praised by local Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon, who says it will bolster community safety on the Gold Coast now and well into the future.
“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 for the delivery of the replacement aircraft is expected to begin soon.