The Garda Air Support Unit (GASU) became operational in September 1997 when it took delivery of a fixed wing Pilatus Britten-Norman BN 2T-4S Defender 4000 aircraft and a Eurocopter AS355N Squirrel Helicopter. The aircraft are on the Irish military register. The Air Corps provide pilots and maintain the aircraft on behalf of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and An Garda Siochána.
The aircraft were selected to meet the operational policing needs of An Garda Siochana. Both aircraft are fitted with the latest police role equipment including state-of-the-art daylight and thermal image (infra red) cameras, mounted on a gyro-stabilised pod.
The Air Support Unit is based at Casement Aerodrome Baldonnel, Co. Dublin and is a national resource under the operational control of Deputy Commissioner, Operations.
The Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform has acknowledged the success of the unit and have purchased an additional Garda helicopter. The Helicoopter is a Eurocopter EC-135. It is European made and also widely used throughout Europe as a ploice helicopter. Because of its quite nature the Helicopter is a viable asset while flying over suburban areas at night. The picture below denotes the very distinctive Garda logo and high visibility stripe down the side.
On Monday 18th March 2000 an article was published in Irelands Irish Times Newspaper in relation to the Garda Air Support Unit and its continued success. To view the article please click here.