New South Wales Police Air Wing

Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

The New South Wales Police is one of the oldest police forces in Australia, with origins dating back to the establishment a small policing unit for Sydney in 1789. The state-wide New South Wales Police Force was officially established in 1862. In 1946 an Aviation Branch was formed, to operate an ex-RAAF Avro Anson. The aircraft was withdrawn in 1950, without replacement.

In 1978 a study for the NSW government concluded that the Police Service should acquire its own helicopter for use in crime prevention and traffic work. An Aviation Support unit was established the following year. The Aviation Support Branch has now expanded to 5 helicopters and 2 fixed wing aircraft.

Key Dates

August 1789 Creation of a policing unit for the town of Sydney in the NSW colony.
1862 New South Wales Police Force established.
1946 First aircraft acquired by NSW Police – an Avro Anson.
1979 First helicopter acquired.

Current Status

The aircraft of the NSW Police Aviation Support Branch are fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

NSW Police aircraft and helicopters operate in a blue and white colour scheme with POLICE service titles on the fuselage sides and the NSW Police insignia on the cabin door. Helicopters carry their radio call sign POLAIR x on the rotor fairing. The Cessna 206 operates in its Cessna factory colour scheme with the added titles POLICE.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Aircraft operated by the NSW Police carry Australian civil aircraft registrations in the series VH-PHx; e.g. Bell 412 VH-PHZ.

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
Aerospatiale AS350B2 Squirrel 3 2 0 Policing
Aerospatiale AS355N Twin Squirrel 1 1 0 Policing
Bell 412EPI 1 1 0 Policing
Cessna 206H Stationair 1 1 0 Policing
Cessna 208 Grand Caravan 1 1 0 Policing
Eurocopter EC135P2+ 1 1 0 Policing

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS350B2 Squirrel 3 1989 current France
Aerospatiale AS355N Twin Squirrel 1 1997 current France
Avro Anson 1 1946 1950 RAAF
Bell 206 JetRanger III 3 1979 19?? USA
Bell 412EPI 1 2014 current USA
Cessna 206H Stationair 1 ? current USA
Cessna 208 Grand Caravan 1 2014 current USA
Cessna 500 Citation 2 2000 2007 leased
Eurocopter EC135P2+ 1 2011 current USA
MBB BK117B-2 1 ? 2014 Germany

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

No losses known.


Main Headquarters

New South Wales Police, Parramatta, New South Wales.

Organisational Structure

The NSW Police Aviation Support Branch has no subordinate units.

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 Support Branch is based at the Bankstown airport, Sydney.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The Air unit originally operated from Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (Mascot), but was relocated to Bankstown Airport by early 1992.

More Information


None known.


NSW Police Force: Police Monthly


wikipedia: New South Wales Police
Specialist Operations (News South Wales)
Facebook: Polair – NSW Police Force Airwing
Official website New South Wales Police
Retribution may come from the sky
Aviation Section NSW Police
Polair Helecopter
Air Wing- Aviation Support Branch

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.