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Old 8th Jan 2012, 16:19   #21 (permalink)
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Who will pay for IRs? A lot of us already have IRs in the non police world. Some with police experience these pilots may be a cheaper long term option when the jobs are advertised soon.
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 17:50   #22 (permalink)
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A Little Chink of Light!

Have been away for a couple of days so missed the news about the appointment of OD and the departure of NT.

Perhaps at last a little chink of light! OD is clearly the best chance that NPAS have of pulling this mess around. If anyone can do it he can.

Once again, and to clarify, I have always supported the concept of a National Police Air Wing. Everyone recognises that we are in a deep financial mess and that serious savings would have to be made. It was the silence and the strange decisions that NPAS were making behind closed doors, that got so many backs up, certainly mine included.

Now with Ollie in a position of influence perhaps we can make some real progress.

Well Done Ollie!

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Old 8th Jan 2012, 18:31   #23 (permalink)
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OD pays this forum the odd visit now and again, obviously under a nom de plume. I suspect he will need to go a bit deeper under cover now because of his position, but if you are careful with what you wish for and constructive with what you suggest on this forum, who knows what NPAS could look like in the future (well - at least until April 2012).
My take to these recent comments:
I fervently believe the reason for the delays incurred by the pre (OD) NPAS was because they (they being a non aviation executive) were unable to deliver a solid worked thru product to the CAA's satisfaction. In particular with regard to SAFETY. How does the NPAS intend to protect everything the CAA stands for with this all singing all dancing national air force? They couldn't come up with the goods. They have tried a number of options and each time the CAA have batted the problem back into their court.
This is because the Police genuinely believe they can resolve all matters aviation - without a FULL TIME aviator. I appreciate they have had advice/consultation from the likes of OD/SI/handysnaks in the past, but that doesn't meet with the CAA's requirements long term.
The new AOC will have to cater for TQM (total quality management) in both ops and maintenance. For example, let me ask you this:

Who monitors/supervises the maintenance standards currently in your operation? The probable answer for 'most' units is: the maintenance manager. And who employs the maintenance manager - probably the maintenance outfit perhaps? Conflict of interest or what???
In addition - how many units allow for totally independent maintenance audits of their operation? Probably a couple at the most.

Second question (for UEO's):
As it stands currently you now find yourself as REO (regional Exec Off.) and allow "other" units a/c to fly into your area of operations to prosecute a task.
Who has legal responsibility for their safety/activities. Is it the CC of the force who dispatched the a/c? Is it the CC of the a/c which currently still owns the a/c, is it the CC of the force area within which it is now operating whilst carrying out said task? Mmmmm? Who will "hang" if that cab launching from, say, Cheshire, called out by the regional call centre, flies to a task in the mountains and subsequently stoofs into Crib Goch at night in bad weather? I guarantee none of the UEO's know, because they have no control over other units' working practices inculding training requirements and currency etc. Now if the UEO's don't know, you can bet your bottom dollar that each of the C.C's won't have a clue.

Now multiply this by 6 for all the regions across the UK and you will understand why the CAA may be a little concerned and jittery as to why the NPAS team cannot answer - hence another (of many) reason why it has been suggested that they need to get their skates on by employing a FOD who is the only person fit for purpose in this regard..

All of this is currently 'under consideration' (or so it should be) by the CAA and I suspect will be catered for by the compulsory requirement for SMS in the near future (which will also answer another question - alignment with the EASA model). I believe that secretly, the CAA want to see an EASA style AOC for the future Police AirForce of the UK.

OD's first major task will be to align the NPAS with a European model, answer the yawning gap in safety management and bring it all together under a brand new shiney EASA AOC. Time frame: I'd guess 18 months.

Meanwhile, I read somewhere that the budget for NPIA has been increased in light of shortfalls and that NPAS is getting an increase in its annual allowance from 4 million (from the H.O.) to 6 million, I believe - can someone confirm that?
Alas, very little of that will trickle back to OD's back pocket for a man doing an ACC's job on Supt pay
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 18:58   #24 (permalink)
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Pilots - EASA Licencing, Ref AIC W 090/2011 do I read it that they will all require an IR within the next 2 years for 'commercial air transport' flying? If not, will the 'type' of flying change meaning the observers can then become 'crew' and in turn the age limit for pilot retirement increases?
Which bit are you reading that implies that then?
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Old 9th Jan 2012, 08:51   #25 (permalink)

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As we will be part of a National Police Air Service, in theory we could be called upon to operate in any part of the nation.

May I be the first to offer my services to the workshop that will be responsible for sourcing a training establishment for the mountain rating course.

I have already completed some research and my initial thoughts would be Switzerland or Austria, however I believe Canada & California should also be on the list of places to visit, before settling for Scotland

What will be the effect of the introduction of the mountain rating?
The EU regulations introduce a Mountain Rating, to replace the national rating that already exists in Switzerland and elsewhere. This will be granted on completion of an approved course on taking off and landing in mountainous regions. The effect of this in the future will be that pilots will not be able to take-off or land in mountainous areas with EASA aircraft unless they have a mountain rating. The rating will not be mandatory until 8th April 2015. Implementation of this rating in the UK is not a priority. Holders of EASA Part-FCL licences will be able to take courses in other EU States to obtain this rating.

FAQ Answer | EASA | Safety Regulation
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 13:42   #26 (permalink)
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Silsoe - more reading please

Mountain Ratings

It appears from the EASA website and the mostly Swiss documents that the Mountain Rating will be required when operating between 5000 and 18000 ft! Ben Nevis hill not that high........


Nothing in 090/2011 to suggest mandatory IR,s for police ops. In fact, annex iii, Part-ORO, FC200, 202 and 250 indicate the hours requirement for VFR at night,

A valid instrument rating OR


300 hours of flight time on helicopters, including 100 hours as PIC and 10 hours as pilot flying at night.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 16:36   #27 (permalink)
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Is there truth in the rumour that the NPAS process has slipped right until the end of 2012. Now why is that?

Last edited by Thomas coupling; 11th Jan 2012 at 19:20.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 19:47   #28 (permalink)
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I think 1st April 2012 for Eastern and Central region on track I think.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 21:09   #29 (permalink)
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How is NPAS going to be online for April when they still do not exist and at the latest information will not have the means now to exist until late February at the least, assuming West Yorks goes ahead and hosts?

Then who is going to give that organisation the internal structure to start trading (so to speak)? Ops manual? etc, etc?

I think TC was spot on (before the phone call/email?), Dec 2012 is the next date to look forward to.

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Old 11th Jan 2012, 21:22   #30 (permalink)

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Have any of the potential host forces fully signed up yet?
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 21:53   #31 (permalink)

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It appears from the EASA website and the mostly Swiss documents that the Mountain Rating will be required when operating between 5000 and 18000 ft! Ben Nevis hill not that high........
Is that PA or DA ?
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 17:37   #32 (permalink)

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How much does it cost to run 23 helicopters for a year?

I am minded to amend the capital allocations for police authorities in order to support the establishment of the National Police Air Service. I will consider carefully any representations on this matter before taking my decision in time for the final settlement debate in February 2012. This change would mean that the proportion of police capital that goes to the NPAS would be increased to £10.8m in 2012/13 – £6m more than I suggested this time last year. These proposed figures are set out in table 2.
copied from table 2

National Police Air Service
2012/13 £11m
2013/14 £13m
2014/15 £10m
I notice that £50m has been allocated for the elections of the new Police and Crime Commissioners

Allocation of police funding 2012-13 | Home Office
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 08:50   #33 (permalink)
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the proportion of police capital that goes to the NPAS would be increased to £10.8m in 2012/13 – £6m more than I suggested this time last year.
I wonder if there are any other calclations that were used to convey to Police Authorities,
the level of cost savings to be made, when in actual fact, according to the above,
the initial "suggested" figures have had to be increased by 125% !

How does that all factor out in the £15 million Annual savings that were "expected" ?

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Old 13th Jan 2012, 09:51   #34 (permalink)
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The £15 million savings will be/are already being made by getting rid of the sacrificial helo's. Remember though that the original savings figure was 22%. This, I believe is now down to 11%. Although some 'regions' are declaring better than 11%.
Further savings can be made by making most (90%) of all the pilots: DE (In my opinion).
Further savings by stopping units 'loitering' after a job and trying to be pro-active. In airframe hours and fuel.
Long term savings: get rid of different airframes. They should all be EC135's with the exception of MPS. FW for Dyfed Powys - don't make me laugh

My post #23 is answered by Silsoesid's latest re the additional funding which is absolutely essential if NPAS is to be taken seriously for the following reasons:

They need money to pay their overheads.
They need money to pay those units back for relinquishing their a/c to NPAS.
They need money to pay for their new AOC.
They need money to pay for their offices (whenever that is decided and W yorks are STILL deliberating as to whether they want the job of running NPAS!!).

This latest cash injection is a positive signal from the H.O. that this project will not fail. AND it answers a lot of police authorities concerns that there is no future funding plan by the NPAS. This will persuade most, now, to join.

So watch out for the following:

Statement on delaying the start of NPAS.
Who the new 'parent' of NPAS is (W Yorks / MPA / Kent)
Who will replace NPIA.

But I agree - this latest cash injection makes a mockery of the original cash cutbacks they were trying to achieve. I would love to see how far out they have projected to start actually clawing back their money. It must be close to 10+yrs now.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 19:28   #35 (permalink)
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Love that comment "they should all be ec135s" really !!
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Old 14th Jan 2012, 12:21   #36 (permalink)
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Amazing how apparently well informed you've recently become!!
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 06:43   #37 (permalink)
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SYPA Media Release

13 January 2012

Media information: For immediate release

Authority committed to Police helicopter service for South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Police Authority has reiterated its commitment to securing a dedicated police helicopter service for the county.

Members of the Authority want to retain the current air support and have rejected Home Office plans to install a National Police Air Support (NPAS) service, which will see 23 aircraft operating from 20 bases around the country.

The nearest helicopters for South Yorkshire are planned to be based in Derbyshire, Humberside and West Yorkshire.

To resolve the issue the Police Authority has requested further information from NPAS on how they will serve South Yorkshire.

Charles Perryman, chair of South Yorkshire Police Authority, said: “We want a Police helicopter to be based in South Yorkshire to maintain an effective and resilient air support for the county.

“We require reassurances from Government that the national scheme will not reduce services to the county. Despite repeated requests for additional information from the National Police Air Support team, nothing has been received.

“Members of the Authority have now agreed to take this back to their local councils and involve cabinet ministers in order to achieve a resolution to the issue.

“The helicopter strengthens the force’s ability to reduce crime, protect vulnerable people and reduce vehicle accidents and the value of this cannot be underestimated.”

A dedicated website on the Authority’s campaign to secure a police helicopter service for South Yorkshire has been launched. For more information go to www.southyorks.gov.uk

Follow South Yorkshire Police Authority on Twitter @sypoliceauth.


Released on behalf of the South Yorkshire Police Authority by HR Media Ltd. For further information please contact Steve Hutton at HR Media on 0114 252 7771 or email steve@hrmedia.org.uk.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 08:25   #38 (permalink)
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Any county that has done the sums and decided they can sustain the cost of in county air support alongside all the other policing requirements and remain outside the proposed new national organisation should be congratulated for being prudent in the 'boom' years. Perhaps that famous Yorkshire 'thrift'!

For most, it's just not an option due to reducing budgets. Norfolk (5th or 6th largest county) could not afford to replace the aircraft so now rely on a neighbour who themselves have struggled to fund flying hours in the past few years. Cambridgeshire are reducing their annual flying hours at the change over despite then having to rely totally on an aircraft comming from out of county that will inevitably use more hours in transit from that reduced amount. I think we all know the operational 'truth' of the move to NPAS, just that South Yorks are the only force shouting it at present.
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Old 16th Jan 2012, 11:47   #39 (permalink)

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All there is to know about NPAS here;

National Police Air Service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 20th Jan 2012, 20:34   #40 (permalink)

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I know they say that no news is good news, but who is the good news for?

Full Screen Countdown to Apr 1, 2012 12:01 AM in London

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