Flight Operations Unit
The Flight Operations Unit is one of only six full-time police helicopter programs in operation within Canada and the only municipal program that uses sworn members as pilots. This not only gives officers an opportunity to work in a unique position within policing, but also ensures that our pilots and flight crew are as committed to catching offenders as our members on the street.
Features of the AIR 1 and AIR 2 helicopters include:
- Eurocopter EC120
- FLIR 8000 Camera System (infrared and video)
- MRC Downlink System
A pilot works with a tactical flight officer (also a sworn police member) as part of a team onboard the helicopter. The Flight Operations Unit flies approximately 1,000 hours per year, arriving quickly on-scene to support patrol operations including:
- locating suspects
- assisting patrol in safe arrests
- managing vehicle pursuits safely
- providing officer safety at traffic stops
- monitoring erratic or dangerous drivers
- assisting with containment on canine calls
- assisting ground staff in managing large volumes of people and riot situations
EPS constables with a minimum of eight years of service can apply for positions as tactical flight officers when there are positions available. Members are encouraged to volunteer and quarry with the unit in order to gain experience and determine if they would be a good fit. Members interested in joining the Flight Operations Unit as a pilot need to have a valid helicopter licence prior to joining the Unit.