In an interview February 1, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas said once the aircraft acquisition program is completed, the police force’s air fleet will consist of 18 helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft.
The PNP currently has seven active and operational helicopters in its inventory.
“We are now training our pilots. Meron kaming 10 pilots na mag ga-graduate at hinihintay lang natin ‘yung training sa Airbus kapag matapos ‘yun. Supposed to be mag-umpisa ‘yung training ng Jan. 15 (We have 10 pilots about to graduate but we’re still waiting for them to finish the Airbus training which was supposed to start on Jan. 15). However, because of the lockdown, the new strain ng Covid-19, ang mga ito ay galing sa Singapore so na-arrange na kung puwede first week of March ulit (These [aircraft] are from Singapore so we arranged if we can have the training on the first week of March),” Sinas said.
Earlier, the PNP had acquired three additional multi-role helicopters to boost its operational capability against insurgency and terrorism.
Over the weekend, the Special Action Force-Air Unit has received the three brand new Airbus H-125 single-engine turbine helicopters from Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia Pte Ltd. at the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay City.
Sinas said the PNP fleet now has seven H-125 Airbus, two R-22 Robinson police helicopters, and a fixed-wing trainer aircraft, all stationed in Metro Manila.
The PNP is eyeing the deployment of two helicopters each in Central Visayas and Southern Mindanao and one in Northern Luzon, Sinas said. It has included an air ambulance to its shopping list of programmed procurements. PNA.GOV.PH