The WA Police Airwing has been in operation since 1974 and is staffed by a mixture of Police Officers and Police Staff (public servants). It now boasts a world class fleet including two Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, a rotary BK117 Helicopter, a twin engine Dauphin helicopter and a Cessna 182 fixed wing aircraft. The Police Air Wing operates at two locations in Western Australia, Jandakot Airport where the helicopters, Cessna 182 and PC12 are based, and Karratha where the second PC12 is based.
The BK117 is a twin engine helicopter and was recently upgraded to B2 specification. The aircraft's role is police patrol, surveillance, search and rescue and officer deployment. It is fitted with a Star Safire III FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) unit with downlink capabilities, Avalex digital recorder, Avalex moving map system, 4 monitors, Wulfsberg tactical radio, Nitesun search light and a double lift 600lb rescue winch. Forward Looking Infra-Red cameras track heat sources, such as a vehicle or human body in darkness and have a high powered zoom video camera for daylight hours.
The new AS365N3+ twin turbine Dauphin helicopter is fitted with a Star Safire HD FLIR, Skyquest Video Management System to manage the video its camera and FLIR are picking up and a Trakka Search Light, capable of staying on one spot regardless of helicopter movements. A Gigawave (Microwave) and Maveo 3G Downlink enables video etc to be sent back to a line of sight destination and Avalex Moving Map, similar to the WA Police TADIS mapping system keeps the helicopter in the centre of a map to enable over ground tracking.
The Pilatus PC12 is a single engine turbo-prop aeroplane, which can carry a maximum of eight passengers 1800kms (as far as Broome). It can cruise up to a height of 30,000ft and can travel at approximately 500km/hr. The PC12's primary role is to transport staff state-wide, but it can be utilised for search and rescue (SAR) and disaster relief efforts. The Cessna 182 is mainly used for surveillance and patrol work and can be fitted with a Leo400 FLIR unit. It is also used for inshore and land SAR searches.
The Air Wing's role also includes land and sea search and rescue, drug detection and seizure, tactical support, response to community unrest and counter terrorism, traffic enforcement and public relations.
Police applicants must have at least two years policing experience and have successfully completed the probationary Constable period before being eligible to apply for a position.
To be eligible to make application as a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO), applicants must hold a current Bronze Medallion and a dive and job related physical performance medical clearance.
The Police Airwing seeks officers with a solid operational policing background and encourages diversity across all internal portfolios, from Crime to General Duties.
Successful applicants are required to undergo a two week pre-selection course that involves a job-related Physical Performance Evaluation, classroom based aviation learning, team exercises, the Helicopter Emergency Egress Device, a fixed wing flight test and formal interview.