Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive and the response for each:

What kind of helicopter does York Regional Police have?
York Regional Police has a Eurocopter EC-120B "Colibri". It is a single engine, light observation helicopter that was manufactured in France.

Is your helicopter very loud?
The EC-120B is the quietest civil helicopter in production. At level flight, the EC-120B produces a noise footprint of approximately 86 decibels. That is comparable to the noise from a busy highway or a noisy restaurant. The model of the helicopter "Colibri" means "butterfly" in Italian.

Why does your helicopter always fly in circles?
By flying "orbits", the police officer on board the helicopter is able to see a person or object continuously, and from different vantage points, allowing for the best possible grasp of the incident at hand.

How fast is the helicopter?
The average cruising speed of the EC-120B is approximately 200 km/h, however that can increase or decrease depending on wind direction and speed, and the payload of the helicopter.

Can your infrared camera see through into my house?
Absolutely not. Infrared technology is a passive and non-intrusive system. Infrared only detects differences in heat on the nearest surface to the camera. For example, if a person was walking across a field, the person would be displayed as hot, as they are emitting greater amounts of heat than the field he or she is walking on. Further, glass is a reflective surface to infrared technology. Windows appear as a grey shade to the camera operator. A person walking on the sidewalk outside your house can see better into your home than the helicopter possibly could.

How many Police Services have helicopters?
Currently only six Police Services in Canada have helicopters that are used in a patrol support function. Durham Region, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver (RCMP) are the other police services in Canada which deploy helicopters that support frontline officers. Police services are now expanding to purchase planes in addition to helicopters as the need continues to grow".