hummingbird-helicopter

The EC-120B Colibri, also known as a Hummingbird, will serve the Winnipeg Police Service's (WPS) air patrol. ((Eurocopter) )

Winnipeggers will know within a couple of days exactly when the new police helicopter will be up in the sky.

Police chief Keith McCaskill said in May that the new Flight Operations Unit should take to the skies by October.

However, on Thursday he said it is a bit behind schedule because a piece of equipment required to train the pilots has been delayed.

However, the top pilot is ready to go.

"We've hired a chief pilot right now. This individual had worked with Edmonton police services as a pilot and he's chief pilot now for Winnipeg," said McCaskill.

"We've also got a couple of others that we are looking at on contract."

Several police officers who will be flight operations officers will be trained over the coming weeks, McCaskill said.

An EC-120B Colibri, also known as a Hummingbird, has been selected as the helicopter that will serve the Winnipeg Police Service's (WPS) air patrol.

Calling the helicopter "a crime-fighting tool utilized in many other major urban centres," Manitoba Minister of Justice Andrew Swan and Mayor Sam Katz announced in May that Eurocopter Canada Limited has been awarded the contract to provide the craft to the police service.

In December, city council voted to spend $3.5 million to purchase the helicopter. The province has agreed to provide $1.3 million a year in operating costs as well as about $25,000 in annual inflationary costs.

The province is also funding the cost of three additional officers required to staff the helicopter.