Police Minister John Rau states: “Its almost a mini chopper, something that can be put up anywhere, anytime, this is the policing of the 21st century.” He adds: “It will enable the police to be able to observe scenes which would otherwise be dangerous or very difficult for people to get to themselves.”
Although unmanned aircraft technology has proven to be very valuable to policing, South Australia is just the second state in Australia and one of the few police forces worldwide to launch them.
Preceded by an intensive training by manufacturer Aerialtronics, the high tech Altura 2 ATX8 of the Australian Police will be flown by eight star group officers. Aerialtronics won the policing bid with their distributor Magna Systems on the basis of their extensive experience in the design, production and servicing of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for civilian purposes. The mandatory tender flight-tests indicated that the Altura is superior to competing systems in terms of range, stability and flight time.
According to Assistant Commissioner (Crime) Paul Dickson: “These devices will be useful to help gather intelligence during emergencies including flying over property where a siege is taking place to identify tactical options for police, or search for weapons on roof-tops, drug crops or even missing people. The units can also be used to rapidly inspect towers, infrastructures or other property searching for explosives or looking for damage after a fire. The examples are endless.”
As a leading international manufacturer of UAS, Aerialtronics is active in numerous countries. The company differentiates itself by incorporating in-house aviation grade technology into their Altura systems. Aerialtronics and Magna Systems are currently partners in policing, aerial imagery, industrial inspection, landscaping and stock control in Australia.