About Us

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) provides all police forces in England and Wales with air support 24/7, 365 days a year.

Police forces request NPAS to assist them with a variety of tasks. This includes searches for suspects and missing people, vehicle pursuits, public order, counter-terrorism and firearms incidents, among others. During tasks, NPAS crews make use of state-of-the-art cameras and communicate directly with ground units and force control rooms, as they work together to help keep communities safe.

A borderless service is provided with a fleet of helicopters (and, in the coming months, aeroplanes) flying from a network of bases.  Flights are managed by the NPAS Operations Centre, based in West Yorkshire.

NPAS was formed in October 2012 following a national review of air support by the Home Office and is delivered by West Yorkshire Police as the lead force – a unique arrangement in UK policing. All 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales and British Transport Police contribute funding for NPAS.

Governance
There are three main governance bodies for NPAS:

• At the top sits the National Strategic Board comprising a Chief Officer and Police and Crime Commissioner for each of the NPAS regions, a representative of the Home Secretary and the National Business Area Lead for Police Aviation.

• Underneath the Strategic Board sits the Independent Assurance Group (IAG). The IAG is comprised of a representative at Assistant Chief Constable level from the NPAS regions and is responsible for reviewing the operational performance of the service.
 
• The third level of governance is within West Yorkshire Police. The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner chairs a board that supports the NPAS Accountable Manager with matters affecting the day-to-day running of the service. Find out more about the Police & Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire

NPAS also works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure it is a safe operation at all times.