The planned closure of the police air support base at Tees Valley Airport has been delayed following an intervention by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger.
To meet funding cutbacks, the number of police air bases operated by the National Police Air Service is being cut from 25 to 15. The changes, due to be implemented in Spring of 2016, would have seen the closure of the Tees Valley base with air cover for Cleveland Police provided in future from Newcastle and Yorkshire.
During a meeting of the NPAS board, members discussed the implementation of the new operating model and were advised of delays in the procurement of three fixed wing aircraft, including late confirmation by the Home Office regarding some funding aspects.
Mr Coppinger, a board member, proposed, and the board accepted, that NPAS continue to operate from the Durham Tees Valley base until April 2017 and that the implementation of the new operating model continue to be kept under review, and the board be kept updated.
Mr Coppinger said: “I am pleased that the lifetime of police air support operating from Durham Tees Valley airport has been extended. Whilst the new model provides much needed savings, we cannot take the risk of closing the base on Teesside without effective, alternative air support being in place.”
Letter to Cleveland MPs; Council leaders; Chair & Members Police & Crime Panel; North East PCCs and Chief Constables - 10 December 2015 (Adobe PDF, 131kB)
Posted on Thursday 10th December 2015