On 7 June, the PAvCon series of police aviation conferences stepped into a new era with PAvCon Europe 2021 Virtual, in partnership with the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA). Serving police aviation since 2009, this was a new venture and strongly supported by the Frederick, US-based APSA. This digital led event was indicative of the flexibility needed in the face of continued global travel restrictions.
The audience was truly international and many virtual attendees, including a significant presence from the US, were obliged to undertake their viewing at very unsocial hours. That goes for the APSA technical support team and advisors who ran the event. Over 100 people and organizations signed up for the event, and throughout, a steady number of around 45 were listening in and participating with questions and pertinent comments.
There were four topics from a variety of locations. A two-nation presentation on IR Airborne Tactics necessarily came from a hotel that allowed the presenters from Belgium and the Netherlands to ‘meet in the middle’. The video-rich UAV Tactics and Operations also came from the Netherlands, and that was followed by Psychometrics and Aviation Safety from the middle of England. Safety was the subject for the presentation from the USA. The final presentation from Spain was Rescue Missions with the Wrong Type of Helicopter. Elliot said: “Thank you to the presenters Harald Brink, Luc Stremersch, Haiko Kroeze, David Howell, Bryan Smith and Joseba Mendizabal, the APSA support team Dan Schwarzbach and Don Roby, and the Chairman, John Osmond.”
Dan Schwarzbach, Executive Director and CEO of the APSA, noted in his introductory speech that the event was vital to continue forging links between police aviation units around the world, and that the variety of attendees demonstrated this point perfectly: “We have Australia and Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK and US.
We have participants from all of those countries today. “Two-thirds of these are from public safety agencies. These are operators. These are guys that are out there, practitioners doing public safety aviation every day. And another third are suppliers of goods and services to our industry.” He further pointed out the variety of people who attended in terms of the different roles represented: “We have unit commanders, chiefs, majors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, superintendents, pilots and tactical flight officers. And we’re representing both manned and unmanned aviation units.” He also thanked the sponsors, Bell, Priority 1 Air Rescue, NASCO, and Leonardo.
For access to the recorded webinar, please go to: bit.ly/3gKj9Vm