Textron Aviation announced this week it has received a contract by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) for five Beechcraft King Air 360 turboprop aircraft. The fleet will be based in Cairns, Mount Isa and Brisbane, Australia and deliveries are expected to take place through 2023.
"We're honored the Queensland Police Service has chosen the Beechcraft King Air to support their law enforcement mission," said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. "The King Air continues to be selected for a wide range of special mission roles around the world due to the aircraft's capabilities and reliability."
The craft will be outfitted with heavy weight, cargo door and extended range options to help better accommodate the tasks that QPS performs. Additionally, the fleet will have gravel landing protection kits installed and be configured in a high-density seat transport configuration.
In addiiton to two Gulfstream G280 jets, QPS purchased the King Air to replace its aging fleet. Roles the craft will perform will include specialist police deployment, search and rescues, providing disaster relief and organ retrieval flights. In the last 18 months alone, the QPS Aviation Capability Group conducted more than 100 organ retrieval operations.
“Demand for aviation services continues to rise significantly and this replacement fleet will ensure we have the capacity and capability to effectively manage these services for communities across the state now and into the future,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Hill, QPS said.
The new aircraft will be introduced over the next two years and will bring the total fixed wing fleet to nine aircraft in addition to the rotary wing and remotely piloted aircraft systems. The King Air is consistently the go to aircraft for difficult operations in Australia due to its versatility in challenging and often rural environments.