The Belgian Federal Police is in the process of acquiring an additional helicopter, which will be its fifth member of the MD900-902 family, and will reinforce the fleet of its Directorate of air support (DAFA) based at the Melsbroek military base, next to Brussels Airport.The Federal Council of Ministers agreed to the purchase of this second-hand aircraft on 1 December 2017. Several specialized sites revealed that it was an MD900 currently used by the company Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (NHV) of Ostend. The latter confirmed the news on Friday. This twin-engine – serial number 900-00137, built in 2009 by the American company MD Helicopters and registered OO-NHI – flies in France for the benefit of the Amiens SAMU (emergency medical assistance), in the department of the Somme.
According to HeliHub.com, however, OO-NHI will need an extensive conversion to its new law enforcement role before flying as “G-17” in due course. Dafa in Melsbroek already has four MD902s – three built as MD900s then upgraded (registered G-10, G-11 and G-12) and a MD902 (the G-16) acquired from Denmark in 2010 – two smaller MD520 single-engine heli’s and two single-engine Cessna 182 aircraft.
© Gérard Gaudin