The Regina Police Department says it will go airplane shopping after no one responded to its request for proposals for its first fixed wing eye in the sky. After some public opposition, city council approved a $1.2 million budget for a light aircraft for the police. Saskatoon has had an airplane for years and Regina officials said they’ve been told it can be a big help. The proposal call expired in early March and since then the police have been combing the classifieds looking for the right airplane.
Police officials told council the aircraft cost will be a relatively small portion of the overall cost. The centrepiece of the gear is a gyro stabilized infrared camera. The police have also ruled out any plane equipped with a whole-plane parachute or turbocharger but they want to make sure it has the gear to operate in a Saskatchewan winter. They expect to put 1,200 hours a year on the plane so maintenance and engine swaps will be a major budget item.