Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, has officially announced the decision to divest the Uganda Police Airwing of its fixed-wing aircraft (P180 Piaggio Avanti II Evo).

Enanga explained that the decision stems from the aircraft’s failure to yield positive outcomes despite its capability to remain airborne for up to 8 hours, providing aerial support.

“Since its acquisition, it has only flown a total of 117 hours due to limitations such as unsuitability for non-tarmacked runways, costly mandatory inspections, insurance, and maintenance, with no discernible benefits realized,” stated Enanga.

He added, “The UPF is considering the disposal of the Paggio Avanti II Evo and the procurement of a new-generation compatible aircraft through trade-in procurement methods, adhering to PPDA laws and regulations.”

Acquired in June 2019 at a cost of USD 7.84 million, the Airwing currently operates four aircraft, including three helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft, 5X-PEF/PI80 Piaggio Avanti II Evo-9 seater. During 2023, the Airwing responded to numerous incidents across various regions, making it an integral part of policing in Uganda.

The Uganda Police Airwing provides aerial patrols, search and rescue, rapid response, troop transportation, aerial surveillance, VIP transportation, medevac, and casevac.

Enanga noted that the Minister of Internal Affairs was briefed on the matter and raised no objections to the disposal of the unserviceable aircraft and the procurement of a new compatible helicopter.

“A Composite Board of Survey inspected the aircraft on October 19, 2022, valuing it at USD 4,271,709.06. The valuation considered factors such as depreciated replacement cost, technical condition, blue book values, and current market prices,” Enanga explained.

He emphasized that replacing the fixed-wing aircraft will enhance the Police Airwing’s operational capabilities. Several aircraft types have been evaluated, considering manufacturers and operational requirements specific to the Uganda Police.

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