The Fairfax County Police Helicopter Division flew off to 10 missions in the first week of the new year ranging from missing persons calls to an overturned boat and river rescue in Prince William County. The county came through with $13 million and is now making it a reality when the division showed the need for an updated helipad out at their base in Chantilly.
According to Vienna Connection, “The Police Department has identified the Police Heliport at the West Ox Road Complex as a critical facility in need of renovation/expansion or replacement. The facility has exceeded its intended life cycle and no longer meets the needs of the Police Department. The facility is deficient in office space, classroom space, parts storage space, paramedic training requirements as well as staff locker areas. In addition, the current helicopter bay size is inadequate to perform efficient and safe maintenance procedures, police officials said.”
Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) said, “I am delighted that the police heliport, including the helicopter pad, will finally receive the much-needed upgrades and repairs. These improvements will create a more secure area for the police helicopter, safer conditions for the officers, and enable first responders to better serve the residents of Fairfax County.”
As per Vienna Connection, “Currently, the existing heliport is enclosed only by a guard rail that extends along the western side of the property along Academy Drive, and partially along the northern side between the wet pond and the helicopter facility, and partially along the south side along the access road to the vehicle services building. This rail is two and a half feet high and provides no security for the police staff, operations, and equipment. The helicopter building itself, as well as the parking area, are openly accessible to the public. An eight-foot, non-climbable, security fence is proposed to surround the heliport area.”