The new Victoria Police Air Wing is a step closer to take-off after police today went out to market for Victoria’s new fleet.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville joined police at Essendon Airport, the home of Victoria Police’s current fleet, to announce the start of the tender process.
The new aircraft will be required to have a longer flight duration and longer range, which will mean the fleet will have greater coverage across the state.
The Andrews Labor Government has funded a new Air Wing as part of its record $2 billion Community Safety Statement.
The new fleet of helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft will support better emergency responses wherever and whenever they are needed across the state. The roll out of the new fleet will begin in 2019.
Victoria Police’s Air Wing responds to around 5,000 requests every year, assisting police and the community through regular traffic surveillance, CBD aerial patrols, search and rescue operations, and by working with police on the ground to target and catch suspects who may be on the run.
Established in 1975, the Air Wing fleet includes three dedicated twin-turbine helicopters and an Air Ambulance that is used to support Ambulance Victoria to respond to critical emergencies.
The Labor Government is recruiting and deploying 3,135 new police officers over the next five years to give Victoria Police the resources needed to reduce crime, and its impact on the community.
The first 300 police have already been allocated to areas of growth across Melbourne and Geelong.
The Chief Commissioner will continue to deploy the new recruits when and where they are needed the most.
The Labor Government is also funding a new training centre for the Special Operations Group, Bomb Squad and Special Operations Group, as well as Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology for all Highway Patrol vehicles to crackdown on unauthorised and dangerous drivers.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“Our Air Wing has been a critical part of the recent reduction of crime. Police on the ground have worked closely with the Air Wing to disrupt and arrest some of the most serious offenders in our state.”
“The new fleet will increase the capability of Victoria Police to respond, not just to emergencies but also to curb the serious offending we are seeing across our community.”
“The new Air Wing will increase the capacity of Victoria Police to deploy specialist teams – including tactical squads and motor vehicle crash investigation teams and – more quickly to remote and regional areas.”