Temporary relocation of the NPAS fixed wing fleet
Wednesday 16 November 2022
The National Police Air Service fixed wing operations will temporarily relocate to Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) as a result of the closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA).
The final operational flight left the DSA airfield on the evening of Tuesday 15 November 2022 to assist South Yorkshire Police and Lincolnshire Police.
The move has no impact on the NPAS helicopter fleet, which continues to provide air support from 14 bases across England and Wales.
The move to LBA follows Peel Group’s decision to close the airport, terminating the NPAS lease at DSA.
It is a short-term arrangement to allow sufficient time for NPAS to identify a more suitable permanent base for the crew and aircraft.
NPAS Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager Chief Supt Vicki White said: “Termination of our lease at Doncaster Sheffield Airport was very much against our wishes.
“We are doing all we can to minimise disruption as we move operations temporarily to Leeds Bradford Airport.
“We expect that all the extra costs created by the early termination of our lease will be met by Doncaster Sheffield Airport.”
Since 1 April 2022 (to 10 November 2022), the fixed wing crews have been deployed 648 times, in support of 41 different police forces, with a total flying time of 515 hours.
They have achieved a positive outcome rate of 92.3%.
Currently, a Base Manager, six Tactical Flight Officers and four pilots are employed in the fixed wing team. They will all relocate to the temporary Leeds base.
There are plans to recruit additional pilots in the future.
Arrangements have been put in place for planned engineering on the fixed wing aircraft to be carried out, when required, at LBA and also at Bournemouth Airport (BOH).
NPAS’s fleet of four aeroplanes operate alongside a fleet of 19 helicopters.
The aeroplanes have the capability of remaining airborne for up to eight hours and provide air support across the whole of England and Wales.
Work continues to identify a permanent new base for the fixed wing fleet.