Wednesday, April 23, 2014

OPP gets new plane for many tasks

OPP Aviation Services has accepted delivery of a replacement fixed-wing aircraft—a 2013 Pilatus PC-12/NG.
Based in Thunder Bay, the Pilatus is a single-engine, turbo-prop airplane that is used to transport OPP and other personnel to the site of criminal investigations or emergency situations.

Additionally, the OPP Pilatus assists with surveillance, security detail, transportation of prisoners, and some search-and-rescue operations.
“The members of OPP Aviation Services play a critical role in combating crime and helping to keep our communities safe,” noted OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.
“It is important that we invest in the tools that help them to do their jobs effectively and efficiently,” he added.
“Whether for search-and-rescue operations, or for surveillance or other law enforcement functions, the acquisition of this replacement aircraft will ensure that our pilots will continue to be prepared, ready, and able to carry out their duties in the service of the people of Ontario in the best traditions of the [OPP],” said Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, OPP Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
The OPP has owned and operated various aircraft since 1974 to support fulfilling of its provincial mandate.
The current OPP fleet includes two 2011-model helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft—the Pilatus and a Cessna.
Routinely, the OPP Pilatus flies 1,300-1,400 hours per year.
The current 1997 Pilatus PC-12/45 has been in service since January, 1998, having transported an estimated 40,000 passengers and 90,000 pounds of freight during its operational life.
In terms of distances flown, the OPP Pilatus has travelled an estimated 151 trips around the Earth at the equator.
The 1997 Pilatus will be decommissioned as police equipment and returned to the vendor—Pilatus Centre Canada of Thunder Bay—for eventual resale.

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