Reorganization of Great Britain’s police helicopter bases is well under way, in a campaign to provide “more efficient and accessible” air support to police forces in England and Wales. Although the number of bases is being cut, the improved efficiency of the system should eventually ensure that 98 percent of the population is within 20 minutes’ flight time of a base.
National Police Air Service
England and Wales have begun consolidating local police air assets into the new National Police Air Service (NPAS) to provide a national, borderless service making use of the nearest aircraft. The 24-hour air service will operate 28 aircraft from 23 locations and be able to reach “98 percent of the population of England and Wales within 20 minutes.” The British government hopes the NPAS program will save up to £15 million ($24 million) a year. The service is being implemented regionally, and the consolidation is expected to be complete by January 2015.