Las Vegas Metro Police to buy Airbus H145

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police has been given the approval to buy a new Airbus H145, with delivery targeted for March 2017. The new helicopter will operate in a search and rescue (SAR) role and replace one of two HH-1H helicopers which date back to the early 1970s. The Metropolitan Police committee on fiscal affairs approved the purchase of the new helicopter on Monday morning, after more than a year of discussions, according to reports.

This will be the first twin-engined helicopter operated by the police department. The unit’s current fleet consists of four MD530Fs and one Bell 407, alongside the two Hueys.   The Air Support Unit operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and flies 6,000 hours annually.The department said it averages 160 rescues each year.

Department chief finance officer Rich Hoggan told local news outlets that the price of $9.6M, including spares and training, is being partially offset by $1.6M from the sale of an existing aircraft, and $2M from a lawsuit settlement. Hoggan is also leading an initiative to seek an increase in fees at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead National Recreation Area to help support the helicopter SAR operations.

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