According to the UK National Police Air Service (NPAS), it costs around £1,700 an hour to operate a helicopter.
Each helicopter flight is expensive, as the cost includes:
However, drones are much lighter, their energy consumption is low, and both the initial purchase and maintenance are inexpensive.
All obvious advantages over helicopters.
In the United Kingdom , Dorset Police was the first force to acquire its own drone unit, and each deployment costs at least one-third less than using the NPAS.
In 2019, the Dorset Police force estimated that it had already saved £170,000.
Drones also represent certain advantages compared to land vehicles, as the former enable public safety forces to intervene much more quickly – and discreetly – in inaccessible or dangerous areas. Fewer teams and fewer vehicles are thus involved in surveillance operations, making them comparatively less expensive.
Mandatory operations include:
These "administrative" operations are commonly managed using traditional office IT tools (spreadsheets, word processing software, etc.), which is time-consuming and labour-intensive.
Fortunately, there is a more modern alternative: the use of a drone management platform.
In conclusion, Chris Flannagan believes that using such a platform allows him to save more than 3 working days per month, which is quite a feat.
Beyond saving time for the police, these drone operations management platforms present other advantages:
Compared to helicopters, drones can save you hundreds of thousands of pounds/euros for your police emergency operations.
And thanks to drone management platforms, it is possible to further optimise your time and the cost of your operations.