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The National Police Air Service (NPAS)

The National Police Air Service was established following a review by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) in 2009 which concluded that nationally the existing arrangements for the delivery of air support were highly fragmented and did not provide value for money.

As a result of this review the Secretary of State made an order under Section 23FA of the Police Act 1996 to specify air support as a function to be carried out through a single national collaboration agreement for England and Wales. The Police (Collaboration: Specified Function) Order 2012 has been approved by both Houses of Parliament. The order came into effect 29th June 2012.

Helicopter observer waves goodbye to crowds The focus of NPAS is to deliver a more cost effective service, balancing the need to save money in a challenging economic environment against the need to ensure the police service has a quickly deployable asset that can be used to tackle crime and protect the public.

NPAS will ensure that essential air support continues to be delivered where it is required; ensuring that confidence in the service remains high. Forces will also be able to make use of a number of aircraft within each region meaning that the police service's response will, in many cases, be enhanced over current provision. NPAS will be a truly national (England and Wales) policing service that will be at the heart of improving public safety. It will bring improvements in operational efficiencies and allow for the introduction of innovative contracts that offer better value for money for the service and the tax payer.