The Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to receive eight more helicopters until next year to augment its air wing amid the aggressive campaign against communist insurgents and the need for mobility equipment for disaster response.
PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said that the additional choppers have already been bought in the past few years and the delivery dates are scheduled between this year until 2021.
“We are now waiting for the delivery. This will certainly boost our operational capability,” said Sinas.
A total of seven helicopters have already been delivered to the PNP since 2016. One of them crashed in March this year that resulted in the death of one police general and inflicted injuries to at least six more including then PNP chief, General Archie Gamboa.
The pilot of the chopper was already recommended to be slapped with administrative charges.
In preparation for its air unit, the PNP leadership has already revived its aviation training courses that has so far produced 11 pilots—three female police officers and eight male officers.
Fourteen more are currently undergoing the program called the Basic Helicopter Pilot Training (BHPT). It is a 228-hour training program divided into four modules.
The PNP air unit will be under the Special Action Force. By February 2021, the PNP will have seven Air Stations strategically stationed in the major airports across the country.