The RCIPS’ new $11 million police chopper arrived Thursday afternoon (21 March), touching down at Owen Roberts International Airport at a special event for top officials and members of the press.
The new whirlybird was welcomed by H.E. Governor Martyn Roper, Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin, and top police brass including top cop Derek Byrne.
Delivery of the new Airbus H-145 police chopper was fast-tracked after the RCIPS’ existing helicopter, a Eurocopter ED 135 TI, was damaged last month.
Governor Roper told Cayman 27 the new state of the art chopper, funded jointly with the UK, will increase the Air Operations Unit’s capabilities for law enforcement, medical evacuations, air and sea rescues, and disaster response.
“The purpose of bringing in a second helicopter is to give us the additional resilience, and this helicopter will have a winch so it will be able to do air and sea rescue in a way that the first one cannot. So it’s a significant step up, and a significant addition, both for the Cayman Islands and the region,” said Mr. Roper.
Governor Roper said discussions are underway about what to do about the Air Operations Unit’s damaged Eurocopter.