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NPAS News 2022

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NPAS News 2022

Old 1st Jan 2022, 08:00
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NPAS News 2022

Happy New Year Everyone, hoping that 2022 is a great year for all of us!

It's going to be an interesting year ahead in the land of NPAS:

The planes are to go... Currently lots of head scratching from the NPAS SLT.

Still no force is wanting to step up to take over West Yorkshire Police, leaving the MPS and WMP feeling pressurised into taking NPAS into their hands.

BVLOS drones to happen or fantasy? Half job rotary fleet replacement? Who knows...

I'm also waiting patiently for the next issue of PAN!
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 19:43
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Originally Posted by RotaryJ View Post
Happy New Year Everyone, hoping that 2022 is a great year for all of us!

It's going to be an interesting year ahead in the land of NPAS:

The planes are to go... Currently lots of head scratching from the NPAS SLT.

Still no force is wanting to step up to take over West Yorkshire Police, leaving the MPS and WMP feeling pressurised into taking NPAS into their hands.

BVLOS drones to happen or fantasy? Half job rotary fleet replacement? Who knows...

I'm also waiting patiently for the next issue of PAN!
Maybe a question for the next quiz on tv.

Question: Which of the following will win the NPAS baton?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...United_Kingdom

Answer A... BTP

Answer B... Humberside

Answer C... MOD police

I think BTP might have it with it being a national set up

Is there a press release about selling the planes?
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Old 3rd Jan 2022, 15:03
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There isn't a press release, the subject features quite heavily in the most recent meeting minutes that is uploaded on the NPAS website.
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Old 3rd Jan 2022, 16:56
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Thank you Rotary I had not noticed them.... a month to study them now!

Initially though these minutes do not improve the situation one bit.So all the fixed wing are to go now – along with the 25 lease at Doncaster. Two from four does strain the economics somewhat, who does the sums at NPAS? I "failed" in Secondary Modern and yet all these people with good education and University top ups do not have a clue!

These are of course 3 months ago and yet there is no sign that the forces have decided to pick up NPAS. I see that the larger forces are being expected to say why they would not want to run NPAS.... where did they begin?

A real horror story that never seems to end.
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Old 3rd Jan 2022, 20:47
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The latest wheeze for drones instead of helicopters.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ing-night.html
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Old 4th Jan 2022, 07:59
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Having had a little time to read through the latest sets of minutes to be released by NPAS it is clear they continue the thread of "its only public money", and therefore of no account when seeking best value.



As always expensive items are simply picked up and tossed aside regardless of the cost. The purchasing of bases and the fixed wing are the prime examples but there have been so many more from transport to working practices. Even if there are intelligent, well trained beings in the organisation, the outside world has for too long been getting projected the idea that they are all idiots. Clearly they are not, there cannot be that many in one place. It is just that the unknowing rule the roost and talk down the good advice. There must be some good advice in NPAS I have heard it..... but it seemingly never rises to the top.



Perhaps the problem lies in size. There seems to be a belated realisation that the project needed a lead police force that was big in the first place. Now they are looking at a couple of large forces to take up the task (in March!!!!). For them NPAS might be a relatively small division but for West Yorkshire it was a monster they could not control. At the beginning most of the forces were set against a large force undertaking the task – jealousies prevailed. And yet, for all its faults, the Metropolitan Police had operated multiple aircraft of varied types for years yet the police chiefs agreed to West Yorkshire, the volunteer that had never operated multiple aircraft in its history, taking on the role.



If only it were that easy. There are other elephants in the cupboard. The interference, sorry guidance, by the National Police Chiefs Council and the gargantuan NPAS Strategic Board, each mainly filled with people who do not have a clue how to run an aircraft operation need to butt out and go back to growing roses or do cooking not interfere with aircraft things.



When the Metropolitan Police had six helicopters on strength the operation was run, quite adequately by a police inspector and a couple of sergeants who reported to the commissioners on mutually acceptable dates at the Scotland Yard HQ. The operation was part of a larger division [TO and SO] that did all sorts of specialist roles, and if it worked at a reasonable price when required it was allowed to do what it knew with little or no interference. The West Yorkshire experience has been interference from the start.



The latest from the NPAS Strategic Board, a monolith of the unknowledgeable is that they want to bring in all sorts of additional representatives. They are already straining under the virtual presence of three dozen attendees and eight apologies and now they want more! This is not a strategic meeting this is a quarterly conference and a million miles away from an inspector popping up to Scotland Yard to brief the unknowing. It is also worth noting that the NPCC answer to its many worries was to call in a now retired "an inspector" for advice. No one is perfect but ... an inspector? That must really stick in the craw of many a County Police ACCs throat.


I cannot see the Met accepting a Strategic Board, that must go first. They can have the minutes to read every quarter if they must. If not it will never work.

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Old 4th Jan 2022, 09:15
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So these fixed wing assets aren’t fit for purpose. Many were saying from the outset (myself included) that they were the wrong aircraft for the role, for many reasons. It’s a travesty that all this public money is being wasted, simply cast aside it seems.

The rationale for the forming of NPAS was to save money whilst improving efficiency. The organisation has failed miserably on both counts and it seems to get worse as more time goes by.

As a founder member and ex chief pilot* of a now disbanded police ASU, I can no longer bear to watch police “camera action” type TV programmes because I get frustrated seeing how the public and police drivers are often unnecessarily put at risk during vehicle pursuits due to the failure of NPAS to provide a helicopter. The unit I flew for had a good record of the police drivers being able to back off and sometimes even switch off their blue lights once we arrived overhead, which had the effect of calming a “fail to stop” situation. We could still provide continuity of evidence which still resulted in arrests, but with less risk to those on the ground, including innocent members of the public. One can only wonder how much more money has been wasted due to unnecessary damage to police vehicles caused during these incidents.

Bringing in more and more personnel to committees and studies at this late stage (at high cost) seems to indicate desperation. They should have listened to the qualified and experienced aviation experts already in post.

*I wish to make it clear that I wasn’t put out of a job by the formation of NPAS. I had already moved on from police aviation quite some years before it was formed.
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Old 4th Jan 2022, 10:35
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While the fixed wing airframe was predicted to be the wrong aircraft and was, it is still not a lost cause. They have four and they should be using all four for their service life [if not actually buying the other two planned].

Buying four wrong aircraft is not the end of the world but simply dumping them is crass. They transport exactly the same role equipment to the scene as the helicopters do and might stay on scene for a little longer and, as newer airframes, they should provide better overall availability. Not perfect but better than nothing.

What is happening is that the NPCC are throwing all their toys out so they will have none. They ditched the Explorers which was sensible on a cost basis but reduced their overall aircraft numbers then delayed the replacement waiting for FIKI [when the alternatives already had it]. Six f/w at Doncaster will solve a lot of short term problems.

Beggars and all that.

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Old 4th Jan 2022, 10:38
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The NPAS structure was wrong right from the start! Yes it is a NATIONAL Police Air Service, but the National bit should only have meant Policy and Central purchasing etc. Service Delivery should be on a Regional basis not a national basis. Regions know what is best for them, and should be able to act accordingly. After the West Yorkshire failure, It is understandable that no force wants the same problems, but a Regional responsibility would be well within the capabilities of most larger Forces.

This went wrong right from the start when NPAS was set up with only one main aim, - that of Saving Shed loads of money! Increasing efficiency and effectiveness was never the aim!

TF
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Old 4th Jan 2022, 17:35
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In my little experience I knew just one 'an Inspector' who knew his aviation stuff. And even he never interfered with those working in their particular 'professions' within the ASU. Lets hope it's that 'an Inspector'...
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Old 5th Jan 2022, 16:03
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Although I had one specific 'an inspector' in mind I deliberately did not mention his name (although it was he that was called in to help) because the same applied in many ways to his immediate predecessor and the couple before him. The difference was that they were not called in as they had been out of air support for several years.

In a broader sense I could put up several other 'an inspector' people who ran their operations well, or very well, and were therefore savvy but most of them did not fit in with the multi-aircraft operator that was also part of the thrust of the text at 6 above.
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 19:49
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If (as some have suggested) these 4 FW frames are to be sh1t canned then it will be a tragic waste of public money. Quite why there is so much 'hate' for these FW aircraft is a total mystery to me, and frankly does nothing more than confirm the silo mentality within the wider UK Police and the farcical lack of aviation knowledge within NPAS.

These individuals do not seem to give 2 sh1ts about the waste of public money, instead they care more about their own self-serving agendas and career progression. As a tax payer, I could nt give a rats how various criminals are caught and brought to justice - only that they are caught and are brought to justice; I don't care whether its a FW, or a RW, or a drone in the sky - I care that good people do their job and catch the badies.

The unavoidable facts regarding FW assets are that they offer a significant cost saving/flying hour/maintenance hour; over any existing Police RW asset.
Are they perfect? No but dovetail the operations of FW with RW, and together they provide much better coverage to the UK Police Air Support - demonstrated capably during G7 and COP26.
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 20:23
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I politely suggest that you search for and read what has been previously discussed here about the lack of suitability for these aircraft in this particular role. It all proved to be true.
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Old 16th Jan 2022, 14:20
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
I politely suggest that you search for and read what has been previously discussed here about the lack of suitability for these aircraft in this particular role. It all proved to be true.
Proved?
I politely suggest that perhaps some of us have different definitions of the word "Prove". All I can see is opinions, based upon inaccuracies and assumptions. Either way I think we shall just agree to disagree
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Old 16th Jan 2022, 15:21
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Originally Posted by black.beard View Post
If (as some have suggested) these 4 FW frames are to be sh1t canned then it will be a tragic waste of public money. Quite why there is so much 'hate' for these FW aircraft is a total mystery to me, and frankly does nothing more than confirm the silo mentality within the wider UK Police and the farcical lack of aviation knowledge within NPAS.

These individuals do not seem to give 2 sh1ts about the waste of public money, instead they care more about their own self-serving agendas and career progression. As a tax payer, I could nt give a rats how various criminals are caught and brought to justice - only that they are caught and are brought to justice; I don't care whether its a FW, or a RW, or a drone in the sky - I care that good people do their job and catch the badies.

The unavoidable facts regarding FW assets are that they offer a significant cost saving/flying hour/maintenance hour; over any existing Police RW asset.
Are they perfect? No but dovetail the operations of FW with RW, and together they provide much better coverage to the UK Police Air Support - demonstrated capably during G7 and COP26.
so how long do you keep throwing hard-earned public money after FW assets so that they can finally deliver their potential?
the crime here is the decision to continue throwing good after bad.
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Old 16th Jan 2022, 17:46
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Originally Posted by black.beard View Post
Proved?
I politely suggest that perhaps some of us have different definitions of the word "Prove". All I can see is opinions, based upon inaccuracies and assumptions.
Unless you expect an official statement from NPAS admitting they completely messed this up, what else do you expect?

However, as an ex police chief pilot, also a fixed wing CPL holder, at least I do have a certain amount of knowledge of the job and I keep in contact with some ex colleagues who remain in the role.

The police spent a very large amount of public money on these aircraft and new accommodation for them, including a long lease agreement for the hangar at Doncaster airport, despite professional advice that they were far from ideal for the role. They spent a lot more public money gaining for an icing clearance for them, which it appears they didn’t initially understand would be needed. They were advertised as more capable in this respect than existing helicopters, which was false at the time. They use relatively ancient piston engines when many of the larger airfields open at night no longer supply the AVGAS they need, limiting where they can be flown and radius of operation. Also, these are high wing aircraft with relatively small windows which means that when turning on scene (which they must continually do, of course, being unable to hover) the job is more difficult to keep in the line of sight. The restricted payload of the type means that only one observer can be carried, rather than the two previously carried on helicopters and initially planned for, which only incredibly only became apparent to the hierarchy after the deal was done.

None of those points are just my opinion.

Now they are to be disposed of, after very few years of productive service. If they were fit for purpose, they would be kept for many more years.
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 06:51
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NPAS Salaries - if you can call it that!

Just read the advert for 5 pilots offering paltry pay with the hope of Tupe'ing across when it goes tits-up again - where do I sign???
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 08:24
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From that current NPAS advert:

Those applying for NPAS London should be aware that the provision of Air Support for London is being outsourced to a commercial provider and pilots based at NPAS are likely to transfer (under TUPE) to the new provider in approximately 18 months’ time.” (My bold).
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 08:34
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The £65,000 Pay looks pretty good considering you don't need an IR

What other options are open to VFR pilots in the UK? Not much.

Last edited by johni; 25th Jan 2022 at 16:05.
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 15:13
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Transfer under TUPE to the new provider...so they take the 59-62k +7k ( so basic pay is 66-69+) market factor with them? This puts the laughable Babcock HEMs latest vacancies pay look rather pathetic...About time BC caught up with the rest of the onshore market?
Anyone know what SAS pays their commanders?
There is now becoming a very serious experienced helicopter pilot shortage in the UK. To their credit, It's why NPAS put the market factor payment onto the basic pay
Fly safe.
B.
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