Aviation

Police Aviation ($70M)

  • 49 Helicopters
  • 13 Fixed-Wing
  • 60% Operability Rate
  • Maintenance Capability Increasing
  • Pilots and Gunners Colombian

The Colombian National Police Air Service (ARAVI) employs the largest police air fleet in Latin America.  This office supports all U.S. Department of State/INL-owned and some CNP-owned air assets via a U.S. contractor.  ARAVI pilots fly all missions, and ARAVI mechanics make up the majority of the technical support staff.

Support to the ARAVI program includes contract maintenance and logistical support, U.S. and local training, aviation fuel, and technical expertise.  Major organizational assets include 58 helicopters and 18 airplanes with models such as the UH-60 Blackhawk, the UH-1HII Super Huey, the DC3 Sky train and the C26 Metro liner.

In addition to counter-narcotics missions, ARAVI uses U.S. government-supported assets for humanitarian missions, targeted intelligence gathering, antiterrorism, anti-kidnapping, high value target, and public order missions.  As part of ongoing nationalization efforts, the U.S. government continues to work with ARAVI to develop sufficient pilots, technicians and aviation support personnel to allow the GOC to assume full support of the aviation fleet. The US Government also supports GOC efforts to increase the in country capability to perform more maintenance and repairs in Colombia. Two of the seven American technical advisors have been replaced with Colombians.

Colombian Army Aviation ($104M)

  • 53 Helicopters
  • 340 Pilots trained
  • 200 Mechanics trained
  • 74% operability rate
  • All 442 trained aerial gunners Colombian

The Plan Colombia Helicopter Program (PCHP), consisting of UH-1N, UH-1H II, and UH-60 helicopters supported the CD Brigade and, when available, provided support to human rights-certified Colombian military and public security forces.

In 2007, Plan Colombia aircraft flew 19,754 hours, carried 36,827 passengers, transported 893,600 pounds of cargo, and conducted 398 medical evacuations of military and civilian personnel. PCHP also provided air support for a number of high value target missions, Presidential security operations and humanitarian relief missions. Nationalization of the PCHP has continued with Colombian Army pilots and mechanics assuming over 72% of the work load that was initially performed by contract American pilots and mechanics.