The Los Angeles Police Department will strengthen its Air Support Division this year with the addition of four new Airbus H125 AStars as part of a long-term plan to upgrade its entire patrol helicopter fleet.
LAPD Capt. Sean Parker said the H125 proved to be the most suitable replacement for the division’s fleet of AS350 B2s, an earlier model in the long-running and acclaimed Airbus single-engine helicopter family. “The H125 was the best fit for us for numerous reasons,” Parker said. “The pricing is competitive. The platform suits LAPD’s missions well, and we are satisfied with the reliability of the aircraft.”
Two of the H125s have been delivered and are currently undergoing completion, and two more are scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of this year. LAPD plans to purchase additional aircraft in future years to complete replacement of its patrol helicopter fleet, Parker said.
“The entire Airbus team is proud that the Los Angeles Police Department has chosen to replace and upgrade its existing helicopters with the H125 AStar that we produce here in the United States,” said Chris Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc. “We take great pride in producing the H125, the finest helicopter available for law enforcement, and we pledge an unlimited commitment to provide LAPD with the support necessary to keep its aircraft working around the clock to protect and serve the people of Los Angeles.”
LAPD’s airborne law enforcement program began operations in 1956 with one helicopter. Today, the Air Support Division is the largest municipal airborne law enforcement operation in the world, with 75 pilots and tactical officers. Airborne teams provide ground officers with valuable tactical insight and assistance in patrol, surveillance, and pursuits.
The division currently operates 17 helicopters, including 12 AS350 B2s, and one fixed-wing aircraft, logging some 17,000 flight hours each year. LAPD has flown Airbus helicopters since 1988 when it purchased its first AS350 B1.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. produces the H125 at its plant in Columbus, Miss. by a workforce that is comprised largely of U.S. military veterans. The highly-reliable, high-performance, multi-mission H125 is the most popular single-engine helicopter among U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Airbus Helicopters will exhibit several industry-leading aircraft models at Heli-Expo 2017, March 7-9 in Dallas, Booth #7648. The Airbus Helicopters exhibit will also contain a virtual reality experience demonstrating the cutting edge technology of the H160 helicopter now under development. Subject matter experts will be on hand to discuss the company’s support and services offerings, including HCare maintenance and spares support programs, and the Keycopter online portal.
Airbus Helicopters Inc., based in Grand Prairie, Texas is an affiliate of Airbus Helicopters and Airbus.