Garda Air Support Unit

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Garda Air Support Unit
Garda Síochána Air Unit emblem.svg
Garda Air Support emblem
Founded September 1997
Country  Ireland
Role Police air support
Garrison/HQ Casement Aerodrome
Aircraft flown
Patrol Britten-Norman Defender
Eurocopter EC135
A Garda Eurocopter EC 135 T2

The Garda Air Support Unit (or GASU) is a unit of the Garda Síochána which was formed in 1997.[1] The GASU is part of the Operational Support Unit which provides specialist support to Gardaí nationwide. The Operational Support Unit also includes the Water Support, Dog Support and Mounted Support Units.[2]

The GASU's aircraft are maintained and flown by the Irish Air Corps,[3] and based at Casement Aerodrome near Dublin. The unit operates a Britten-Norman BN 2T-4S Defender 4000 aircraft, and two EC 135 T2 helicopters.[4] A Eurocopter AS355N Squirrel helicopter was in use by the unit until January 2008 when it was replaced by a second EC 135 T2.

Between 2007 and 2008, the unit released figures indicating that it had contributed to 1,300 arrests within the preceding three years, and it had located 14 people during search and rescue operations in 2007.[5] GASU responsibilities include providing an active support role for the Garda Síochána and aircraft may be deployed to incidents in the following circumstances:

  • An immediate threat to life.
  • Incidents of crime, terrorism or of national importance.
  • Immediate threat of serious public disorder.
  • A task which will lead to the immediate prevention or detection of crime.
  • To gather evidence and to prevent or detect crime or to avert a serious public disorder.
  • To gather information on and deal with incidents relating to crime, public disorder and traffic related matters.
  • Collecting footage from the air at a major event.


  1. ^ "Garda Website - Air Support Unit page". Retrieved 21 March 2014. The Garda Air Support Unit was established in September 1997 
  2. ^ "Garda Website - Operational Support Units". Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Defence Forces Website - Air Corps - Fleet". Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "EC135 T2". Defence Forces. Retrieved 2017-01-04. 
  5. ^ "Second Garda helicopter takes to air". Irish Times. 15 January 2008. 

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