Australian Federal Police

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Australian Federal Police
English Title:
Australian Federal Police
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is the national police agency of Australia. It has a similar role to the FBI in the USA. It was formed on 19 October 1979 from the merger of the former Commonwealth Police and the Australian Capital Territory Police. In January 2005 the AFP established the Operational Response Team (ORT), a team of specialist tactical police officers trained to assist regular AFP officers serving with the RAMSI peacekeeping force in the Solomon Islands. THe ORT was soon expanded to fulfil further operations, both within Australia and overseas, and was renamed the Operational Response Group (ORG) in 2006. To enable these long distance operations, an Aviation Support Group was created within the OSG, to provide leased aircraft and helicopters under contract. The AFP has no aircraft or helicopters of its own.

The AFP uses aircraft and helicopters as required, for training missions and operational Police work. Operations include tactical, VIP and surveillance tasks. The Aviation Support Group has qualified air crews that work with the contract pilots during police operations. Bell 212 and Bell 412 helicopters were contracted from Helicorp, (later brought out by Toll Remote Logistics), for support to the RAMSI operation, while crew and pre-deployment training was conducted with BK117s from United Aero.

On 1 July 2012 the OSG was merged with the AFP’s Canberra-based Specialist Response and Security team (SRS) to create the Specialist Response Group (SRG), with much the same duties but reduced duplication of resources. Somewhat controversialy, from 2013 a Gippsland GA8 Airvan fitted with specialist surveillance equipment was used over Australia. It even had a specific exemption allowing it to operate without navigation lights.

Key Dates

19 October 1979 Australian Federal Police established.
January 2005 Operational Support Team established.
1 July 2012 Specialist Response Group established.

Current Status

The AFP uses leased aircraft and helicopters on short and long term contracts. It has no aircraft of its own.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

The aircraft and helicopters of the AFP operate in the colours of the lease operator, no special markings are applied.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

AFP aircraft and helicopters carry standard Australian civil aircraft registrations.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Bell 412 3 2 0 Policing
Gippsland GA8 Airvan 1 1 0 Surveillance

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Bell 412 3 2004 current leased – Toll Remote Logistics
Gippsland GA8 Airvan 1 2013 2015 leased – Airvan Flight Services
MBB BK117B-2 2 ? ? leased – United Aero

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

No losses known.


Main Headquarters

Australian Federal Police, Edmund Barton Building, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Organisational Structure

The Specialist Response Group of the AFP includes an Aviation Support Unit.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The Aviation Suport Unit is based in Canberra, ACT.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Before the creation of the SRG in 2012, the Aviation Suport Unit of the ORG had bases in Canberra, ACT and Melbourne, VIC. There was also a forward AFP base in Brisbane, QLD. The latter two locations were closed in preparation for the establishment of the SRG.

More Information


None known.


To be added


wikipedia: Australian Federal Police
official website
AFP admits high-tech support for search
CASA EX141/11 – Exemption
wikipedia: Operational Response Group
wikipedia: Specialist Response Group
Toll Group

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.


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