Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services the Honourable Mark Ryan MP, and the Member for Gaven, Meaghan Scanlon, joined Commissioner Katarina Carroll on the Gold Coast today to announce a major Palaszczuk Government investment in POLAIR.
The investment will fund two new POLAIR helicopters to replace the existing aircraft based on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.
In addition, the total investment package will fully fund POLAIR operations for an additional 10-years from July 2022.
The funding will ensure the two new replacement helicopters will have an operational capacity of at least 2,000 flight hours each year.
POLAIR provides an airborne law enforcement capability for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) from two helicopters based at Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
Knowing the value and importance of POLAIR, the Palaszczuk Government decided to go to market for two replacement helicopters, with one based on the Gold Coast and one based in Brisbane.
This new 10-year commitment is fully funded by government, with the total value commercial-in-confidence to ensure taxpayers get the best outcome.
Commissioner Carroll said POLAIR helicopters were available for tasking 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“POLAIR has a strong reputation of supporting frontline police officers, and today’s announcement will ensure this can continue,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“In recent times, POLAIR has assisted in locating a 60-year-old nurse, who was found injured after coming off her motorcycle and a missing 40-year-old kayaker in waters off Wellington Point.
“With the capabilities of POLAIR and our dedicated tactical flight officers, these are just two of many incidents our helicopters have embarked on with successful public safety outcomes which resulted in reuniting loved ones.
Minister Ryan said POLAIR was recognised as a critical airborne law enforcement capability, providing tactical aerial support to police operations including tracking offenders, searching for missing persons and providing real time situational awareness of major incidents.
“I’ve seen first-hand the QPS POLAIR crews on a busy operational patrol,” Minister Ryan said.
“And I’ve seen first-hand how POLAIR enhances officer safety and supports tracking of offenders by teams on the ground,” the Minister said.
Meaghan Scanlon MP said the funding demonstrated a strong commitment from the Palaszczuk Government to community safety on the Gold Coast now and well into the future.
“It also demonstrates the total commitment of the government to supporting frontline police who work so hard each and every day to keep the community safe,” Ms Scanlon said.
An open tender process will soon commence for the delivery of the replacement aircraft to be based at Brisbane and the Gold Coast from July 2022.
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan