25 APR 2012

Success for Campaign to keep Police Helicopter at Filton

It has been publicly announced that the National Police Air Service have dropped controversial plans to relocate the police helicopter based at Filton Airfield to RAF Colerne. Local Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti, who led a campaign to stop the re-location of Filton's police Helicopter has commented on the announcement:

"The proposal to close the Helicopter unit at Filton and move it to RAF Colerne in Wiltshire would have had a very serious effect on the aircrafts' ability to reach incidents in the local area in an acceptable timescale. We started a campaign to prevent the move locally and I would like to thank all of my constituents who signed the petition on my website. As a result of the concerns I met with the Home Secretary and asked her to assess the implications of any move. I also brought the issue to the attention of Parliament in two debates and asked Parliamentary Questions to the Home office. It was clear to us that the flying time alone from RAF Colerne is approaching 20 minutes, leaving nothing at all to allow for communication difficulties and start up times. We submitted that the proposed move would make the aircrafts' ability to provide any meaningful service to Bristol almost impossible.

I am therefore delighted with the announcement and very pleased that the National Police Air Service has recognised the sound operational reasons for using Filton as a base"

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