Helicopter (air operations unit)

Follow the activity of the Devon & Cornwall Police helicopter on Twitter - @NPASSouthWest

A little about us.

Our yellow and blue police helicopter has become a familiar sight in the skies over Devon and Cornwall. Previously based at Police Headquarters, it has worked out of Exeter Airport since 2014.

It offers 24/7 support to all operational units, quickly reaching remote or dangerous destinations and giving access to areas which may be dangerous to terrestrial units.

With space for two crew and up to six passengers the Eurocopter EC145 - which came into service in April 2010 - can get dog crews, search or diving teams and other specialised units wherever they need to be in minutes rather than hours.

As of 3 July 2013, all police helicopters in the South West region will be co-ordinated by the National Police Air Service (NPAS).  This will give all UK police forces cover from more than one helicopter and allow cross-border operations to become more effective and efficient.

The helicopter, one of the most advanced in the world, is capable of:

  • Two and half hours flying time;
  • Searching an area 40 times larger than that of a ground patrol;
  • Searching cliffs, roofs and inhospitable terrain;
  • Thermal imaging and scene illumination at night.

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