Police chopper to arrive January

The much-delayed arrival of the police helicopter is now slated for January, the government’s Finance Committee heard on Friday.

Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis told the committee that the helicopter was expected to arrive sometime in January, 2010.

Independent Member of the Legislative Assembly Ezzard Miller queried the delay, saying the last public announcement in relation to the helicopter stated it would arrive in September this year.

Franz Manderson, the Chief Officer under the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, explained that the latest delay was due to a tendering process that is taking longer than expected.

‘You don’t want the helicopter to arrive without having proper provisions in place for maintenance and storage,’ he told legislators.

The purchase of the CI$1.8 million Eurocopter more than two years ago has stirred much controversy in Cayman, and has been subject to an audit by the auditor general and scrutiny by the Public Accounts Committee.

The aircraft was bought from police in the UK and shipped to the US where it remains in storage.

Currently, police hire the private Cayman Helicopters for air operations.