His Excellency The Governor, Martyn Roper and the Honourable Premier, Alden McLaughlin announced that the new RCIPS helicopter, which is being jointly funded by the Cayman Islands and the UK, will be arriving on island within days. Following recent damage to the existing helicopter, during a forced landing caused by a technical fault, the Air Operations Unit has reached agreement with Airbus Helicopters for the fast tracking of the delivery of the new aircraft. This will now be on island within the next few days.
The new aircraft, an H145 will be used alongside the Unit’s existing aircraft once this is returned to service and in the meantime will provide vital air support to the RCIPS. The H145 will boost Cayman’s capability in the areas of search and rescue, law enforcement and border protection operations. The aircraft will also be used to respond to disasters and other emergency situations in the other UK Caribbean Overseas Territories.
The Governor commented “we are grateful to the Air Operations Unit (AOU) and Airbus Helicopters for their work to ensure that the new helicopter can be deployed so quickly. This will help to ensure the safety and security of the territory whilst the existing helicopter is out of action and is a significant step-up in our law enforcement capability. I would also like to commend the two pilots from the AOU who managed to land their aircraft safely after what was an unforeseeable technical failure. That manoeuvre clearly took some skill and quick thinking and I am relieved that nobody was seriously injured”.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said “I appreciate the expediency of the arrival of the new helicopter to help pick up the work of the damaged aircraft to aid in our continued efforts of providing support for security, law enforcement and disaster response for the Cayman Islands and our Caribbean Overseas Territories. The new helicopter will be an invaluable tool to help support our new Coast Guard agency as well as our broader security groups.”