General Aviation Inspectorate (IGAv) in Romanian the Ministry of Interior (MAI) sent a helicopter in a first mission in Italy, between September-October, to fight the illegal migration and cross-border crime.
“A EC-135 helicopter, registered with IGAv in MAI start today its participation in TRITON Collective Operation in Italy 2016 conducted by FRONTEX Agency from European Patrol Network (EPN)”, a MAI press release sent to Agerpres reads.
According to MAI, Romania is a committed contributor to FRONTEX with both logistics and staff.
The helicopter is equipped according to the operational demands of the mission and it will participate in scouting and surveillance missions on the Southern Italian coast; the team is made of pilots, an operator of the electric-optic surveillance system (FLIR), a helicopter technician and a liaison officer working from the International Coordination Center in Rome.
“The purpose of the operation started in November 2014, is to support Italian authorities in scouting and surveillance of borders, but also in search and rescue missions in the central-Mediterranean area, currently a main route for illegal migrants who came from areas such as Eritrea, Nigeria and Gambia”, the press release also stated.
The EC-135 helicopter had this year 157 patrol and surveillance missions, a total of 270 flight hours in 80 days, during a Poseidon Rapid Intervention collective Operation which took place under FRONTEX in Greece.