NOTE: This content is old - Published: Sunday, Oct 1st, 2017.
It’s a common sight for those of us who live in Flintshire, an Airbus A300-600ST otherwise known as Beluga, the iconic super transporter flying in and out of Hawarden.
For the crew of Birmingham’s National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter, Beluga isn’t something they often get to see close up, so on a visit Hawarden Airport the other week they took the opportunity to film Beluga as she took off from the airport.
The 16-second video clip captured using the helicopters high-powered video camera follows Beluga as she powers away from Airbus Broughton loaded with wings and heading for one of the company’s final assembly lines in either France or Germany.
The Birmingham based team had been in the area supporting their NPAS Hawarden counterparts, posting the video onto Twitter a crew member wrote;
Not something we at Birmingham see every day @Airbus. Thanks for the fuel and brew @NPASHawarden
— NPAS Birmingham (@NPASBirmingham) September 18, 2017
National Police Air Service Helicopters (NPAS) operate out of 15 airbases supporting 43 police forces of England and Wales and replaced the previous structure whereby police forces operated their own helicopters.
NPAS helicopters are only able to fly on tasks if they have been assigned to them by our National Operations Centre, based in Wakefield.
All requests for air support throughout England and Wales are made through this one central point.
To meet the criteria to receive air support, police officers have to demonstrate that a significant level of threat, risk or harm is posed to an individual, to communities or to property and that a police helicopter is required to support police officers on the ground in their response.
Before, during and after all flights, NPAS helicopter crews are in continuous radio contact with the National Operations Centre, not only to ensure that stringent national safety requirements are met but also that real-time information about the location of the full fleet of Eurocopter EC135 (15) EC145 (4) helicopters are available across the organisation to aid decision-making and the prioritisation of resources.
The fleet of aircraft is available to meet the demands of UK policing on a borderless basis, meaning that the nearest available aircraft and crew are sent in response to tasks, whether they are airborne at the time or taking off from one of our network of airbases or elsewhere.