Non-emergency contact information for
National Police Air Service
About National Police Air Service
The National Police Air Service (NPAS) deliver a fully borderless service to all police forces across England and Wales 24/7/365 and an unprecedented national response to the ever-increasing number of national major and critical incidents. Flying at average speeds of 138mph, police air support saves officers on the ground valuable time when it matters. On a daily basis, NPAS tackle criminality, help save lives and keep people and communities safe.
NPAS carry out a variety of tasks for police forces such as searching for high risk missing people/concern for welfare/injured people, searching for suspects, managing vehicle pursuits from the air and assisting with counter terrorism/specialist firearms operations.
The NPAS fleet consists of EC135s and EC145s. NPAS also have four fixed-wing aeroplanes and work is underway for all four aircraft to achieve air worthiness and police operational certification - a process expected to take several months - before they can begin flying in support of police forces in England and Wales.
Benefits of National Police Air Service police air support:
- can search large areas quickly (twenty times faster than other options and fewer ground resources required) – can mean the difference between life and death
- can provide an aerial overview of a situation - minimises risk to members of the public and police officers
- provide downlink into control rooms
- ability to surge resources in times of greatest need
- ability to move aircraft and crews to meet demand across England and Wales
- enhanced safety of the public and officers
- production of specialist quality evidence
- a visible and powerful deterrent ensuring communities are safe and feel safer
The National Police Air Service (NPAS) Operations Centre operates 24 hours a day, year-round and manages requests for air support from all police forces and other agencies across England and Wales.
Requests are processed by a team of experienced Flight Despatchers. 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. If the request meets the criteria, 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 air bases or elsewhere.
Before, during and after all flights, crews are in continuous radio contact with the NPAS Operations Centre, not only to ensure that stringent national safety requirements are met but also that real-time information about the location of our full fleet is available across our organisation to aid decision-making and the prioritisation of resources.
Through local police forces, the NPAS Operations Centre is also able to provide assistance to partner organisations such as the Fire Service and British Transport Police, as well as liaising with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Search and Rescue service.