New helicopters

ORILLIA – At a ceremony at OPP General Headquarters in Orillia on May 27, Commissioner Chris Lewis accepted the delivery of two Eurocopter EC135 helicopters, which replace the OPP’s aging fleet of Twin Star helicopters acquired in 1991.

The OPP has owned and operated two helicopters in its fleet since 1974 to support fulfilling of its provincial mandate which includes providing support for specialized teams, surveillance, drug eradication, searches, suspect apprehension pursuits and regional traffic and crime initiatives.

Approximately 65 per cent of all OPP helicopter missions deal with search and rescue operations. The OPP helicopters are based in Orillia and Sudbury respectively.

Dignitaries from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Eurocopter Canada Ltd., and members of the public and media witnessed the official hand over of the two Eurocopter EC135s (a light, multi-purpose twin turbine engine helicopter) and the retirement of the Twin Stars.

Over the past 20 years, OPP pilots have logged a combined total flying time of approximately 20,000 hours (or about 106 trips around the world at the equator) on the retiring Twin Stars models.