Flights of the police helicopters seen over the skies of Wrexham are to continue despite a fault being found in some models of helicopters after investigations following the tragic crash at The Clutha bar in Glasgow.
Due to the recent change in how air support for police operates helicopters are no longer run on a force by force basis, rather coming under the umbrella of the National Police Air Service aka NPAS. This means several helicopters could be called in for activity over the Wrexham area, but we generally see those based at Hawarden, Rhuddlan and on occasion Barton.
We contacted NPAS and were told “Safety is the number one priority for the National Police Air Service. Our decision on whether or not to suspend operations or ground any NPAS aircraft is based on advice issued by the Civil Aviation Authority – the UK’s aviation regulator and original equipment manufacturers.”
“We remain, as ever, in constant communication with the CAA and other partners in the aviation industry. There is currently no notice in place from the CAA or the original equipment manufacturers to ground any aircraft and so we have not done so. If such a notice is put in place then we would immediately and carefully consider it.”
“In light of the technical issue identified by Bond Air Services, as a precautionary measure, we are increasing fuel levels on all NPAS EC135 aircraft and increasing the minimum level of fuel which pilots are allowed to operate on.”
“The investigation into the Glasgow incident remains ongoing and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further on that incident or speculate on any connections.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire and the chair of the strategic board for the National Police Air Service, (NPAS), has just addressed the board this afternoon.
“We have had a report from the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, Mark Gilmore, about the early information to come from the Glasgow incident at this meeting and I have reiterated that the safety, both of NPAS staff and members of our community is our paramount consideration,” he said. “Both the Chief Constable and Chief Superintendent Ian Whitehouse, the accountable manager of NPAS, have assured the board that all relevant risks have been identified at this stage and all appropriate operational measures have been taken.”
All three air ambulances that cover Wales have been ‘temporarily suspended’ for maintenance checks. Update 17:22 : Two air ambulances have returned to service.
Deeside.com responded to our tweet on this article by sending us a picture of the NPAS police helicopter over Deeside around half three this afternoon showing flights are occuring:
— Deeside.com (@DeesideDotCom) December 12, 2013
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