Western Australia based Heliwest has been awarded a six month, $500,000 trial contract to provide the state of Queensland with its first police helicopter.
The first phase of the trial got underway at the beginning of November and runs through January. Queensland officials said the helicopter would be used for everything from vehicle pursuits to tracking graffiti offenders and would be deployed over major events including Schoolies, New Year’s Eve and Australia Day celebrations.
The helicopter, a Bell 206 Long Ranger, is fitted with a Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) camera and a Night Sun searchlight, and comes with night vision goggles for the pilots and crew, Heliwest said. The company says the value of the overall platform is in excess of $4 million.
The aircraft will be flown by Heliwest pilots and crewed by Queensland Police. The contract calls for it to fly 20 hours a week.