Bell 412EPI serves as PolAir 5 in NSW Police fleet


PolAir 5, a Bell 412EPI, has joined the fleet of the NSW Police Force in Australia. NSW Police Force Photo

The NSW Police Force has launched two new state-of-the-art additions to the Aviation Support Branch, PolAir 5 and PolAir 7.

NSW Police Force Commissioner Andrew Scipione, unveiled the new aircraft at the Aviation Support Branch at Bankstown Airport on Nov. 30.

The Commissioner was joined by the Governor of NSW, Gen. David Hurley, AC, DSC (Ret.), and Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Stuart Ayres, to commission the aircraft into operation.

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PolAir 5, a multipurpose twin-engine helicopter, and PolAir 7, a single-engine fixed-wing aircraft, represent an ongoing commitment to continued advancement in aviation support to law enforcement in NSW.

The new PolAir 5, a twin-engine Bell 412EPI, brings superior capabilities that will assist NSW Police with day-to-day operations.

PolAir 5 has a cruise speed of more than 220km/h and features cutting-edge new generation digital touch-screen navigation capabilities, which provide increased efficiency through flying direct routes.

In addition, it has advanced ‘auto hover’ autopilot technology, which will be used during winch rescues; particularly near cliffs or over water.

PolAir 7, a turboprop Cessna Grand Caravan EX 208B, has a cruise speed of more than 340km/h and a range of over 1400kms, making it ideal for use in remote locations.

The fixed-wing aircraft is fitted with a digital glass cockpit for improved safety of flight, as well as large windows allowing a wide field of view that can assist during searches of land areas and waterways.

In addition, it has a heavy lift capability will allow for the transport of cargo, specialist equipment and personnel and support during extensive search and rescue incidents.


Group photo of PolAir pilots with the Bell 412EPI, taken on Nov. 30. NSW Police Force Photo

Commissioner Scipione said the new aircraft will bolster the Aviation Support Branch’s fleet and further assist police in the continued fight against crime.

“PolAir plays a very important role in law enforcement in NSW and I am very pleased to welcome these new aircraft and their capabilities into the NSW Police Force,” the Commissioner said.

“The support they provide during search-and-rescue missions, major crime investigations and counter terrorism operations is invaluable. While PolAir 5 and PolAir 7 both have unique capabilities that will prove very useful during specific operations, they also serve a general purpose as a highly visible presence to deter and detect offences and ultimately support a safe NSW. With the use of advanced technology, these aircraft will ensure the NSW Police Force remain at the forefront of aerial law enforcement, while providing continued support to police and communities right across the state,” the commissioner said.

The Aviation Support Branch’s primary responsibility is reducing crime by providing support during searches for missing people (including missing children, the elderly and bushwalkers), vessels or aircraft, and offenders; operations targeting drug and property seizures, specialized rescue missions, reconnaissance tasks and counter terrorism operations.

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The aircraft are equipped with modern technology and specialist equipment including rescue winches, Nite sun searchlights (30 million candle power), Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR), high definition video camera system, microwave down-linking of live pictures, digital radio communications and advanced inter-grated touch screen digital glass cockpits with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation systems.

Following the commissioning, the NSW Police Aviation Fleet consists of five helicopters and two fixed wing aircraft, which is the largest fleet of police aircraft in Australia.

Other aircraft in the fleet include PolAir 1, an Airbus Helicopters AS350 B2 Single Squirrel; PolAir 2, an AS355N Twin Squirrel; PolAir 3, an AS350 B2 Single Squirrel; PolAir 4, an EC135 P2+; and PolAir 6, a Cessna 206 Stationair (single-engine fixed-wing).

Further information about the Aviation Support Branch and the work of the PolAir fleet is available on its Facebook page.

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