The WA Police Air Wing has taken delivery of a specially equipped GippsAero GA8 Airvan, which will replace a Cessna 182 used for aerial surveillance work.
“Because of the size of Western Australia, we have always operated a small single engine fixed wing aircraft in our fleet,” said officer in charge of the WA Police Air Wing, Peter Scott. “The introduction of the Airvan however, increases that capability significantly because of the payload now available. The greatest benefit however is the flexibility to put in specialised mission role equipment that is essential to a contemporary police aviation operation.”
The Air Wing previously used the Cessna in the surveillance role, which included using a FLIR and other camera equipment to spot drug plantations in some areas of state forest.
The surveillance equipment is mounted within a fairing which is similar to the standard cargo pod. The Airvan is also capable of carrying a forward-looking infra-red camera (FLIR) similar to those fitted to the Air Wing’s two helicopters.
As well as the Airvan, the Air Wing also operates two Pilatus PC-12s, a Cessna 172, a Kawasaki BK-117 and also recently took delivery of a Eurocopter AS365N3.