Airborne Law Enforcement Sees A Return To Normal Post-Covid
August 03, 2021
BY DAN PARSONS
APSCON, one expo of dozens cancelled by Covid, was initially scheduled for July 2020 in Houston. That show was to have been the association’s 50th and was the first it has missed since it began hosting conferences in 1970 as the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA).
Unprecedented wildfire activity in the American West also has proven a boon, although perhaps an unwelcome one, to public safety aviation programs in the affected states. Companies that configure aircraft for firefighting have thrived and expanded. One such company is Helinet, which offers aircraft configuration services but also provides Part 133 and Part 137 operations in California. The company’s firefighting capabilities doubled in May 2021 with the addition of a second dedicated UH-60 Black Hawk configured to drop water on wildland fires.
“Every year, we had more and more requests for our services with our Black Hawk,” said assistant chief pilot Alex Freidin. “By adding an additional UH-60, we are able to expand our offerings to a wider market. This aircraft has already allowed us to secure additional fire contracts in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, and with Cal Fire. We are excited to bring this new ship online and provide another step towards keeping Helinet’s customers and the public safe.”