National Police Air Service (NPAS) of the United Kingdom, has selected Airbus Helicopters to provide support and maintenance for its fleet of 19 helicopters following a competitive procurement. Oxford-based Airbus Helicopters UK will support the operation of 15 Airbus EC135 and four EC145 role-equipped aircraft flown by NPAS in support of the 43 regional police forces of England and Wales.
The helicopters are based at 14 locations and are among the most intensively used police helicopters in the world.
Under the terms of a five year contract due to begin in October 2019, Airbus will provide a package of services comprising of: maintenance of aircraft and mission system equipment, continuing airworthiness management, supply of spare parts and engine support.
The contract also includes the option for modifications to the aircraft and mission systems where previously these had to be tendered separately under procurement regulations. This follows an earlier contract with the company signed in 2014.
Airbus Helicopters UK Managing Director, Colin James, said: “The national infrastructure that we have developed together with NPAS to support its ever more demanding requirements is absolutely unique worldwide in its capability, throughput and efficiency. We take great pleasure in this opportunity to continue our journey with NPAS in the coming years, and to making our contribution to the UK’s security.”
Formed in 2012, NPAS operates 24/7, 365 days a year. Steph McKenzie, Head of Technical Services at NPAS, said: “Following a tendering process, we have selected Airbus Helicopters UK as our preferred aircraft maintenance contractor for the next five years. We believe their expertise, and heritage of more than 30 years’ involvement in UK police aviation, is ideal for providing engineering support for our fleet. Our aircraft will collectively be used for around 20,000 tasks every year, as requested by all police forces in England and Wales.”