Utah Department of Public Safety

Highway Patrol - The Utah Highway Patrol Aero Bureau

The Mission of the Utah Highway Patrol Aero Bureau is to provide professional, timely, safe aviation support to the Utah Department of Public Safety and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies in the performance of their mission to provide a safe and secure environment for the citizens of the State of Utah. Chris

The Aero Bureau is a direct support, force multiplier that assists State, Federal, and local law enforcement statewide in the performance of their duties. 

Aero Bureau support includes, but is not limited to:


  • Aerial Assistance to Law Enforcement
  • FLIR, NVG and Nightsun Support
  • Search and Rescue
  • Criminal Investigation Support
  • Surveillance
  • Pursuit
  • Emergency Agency Support
  • Aerial Photos
  • Aerial Security
  • Traffic Enforcement
  • Fugitive Search
  • Blood and Organ Shuttle
  • Marijuana Eradication
  • Prisoner Extradition
  • Transport of Law Enforcement Personnel
  • Administrative and Executive Transport
  • Airborne Intelligence Gathering
  • Airborne Command and Control
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Aerial Survey


The Aero Bureau consists of three helicopter pilots and one fixed-wing pilot.  There are also four on-call observers who are UHP troopers

The Aero Bureau operates a mixed fleet that consists of the following aircraft:


  • Cessna 206 Station Air: The 206 is a single engine fixed-wing aircraft that can carry 3 passengers or up to 800 lbs of cargo.  It is equipped for IFR flight, but is restricted to VFR flight. 
  • Eurocopter AS350 B2 Astar: The Aero Bureau has two Astar helicopters.  They are single engine and can carry 5 passengers or 1000 lbs of cargo internally or externally on a line.  They are FLIR and night vision equipped and can operate safely at the high attitudes found in the state. 
  • Beech 58P Baron: The Baron is a twin-engine fixed-wing aircraft that can carry 5 passengers or up to 600 lbs of cargo.  It equipped for IFR flight and has a weather radar

Aero Bureau Pilots are aviation rated UHP officers who are trained to provide law enforcement oriented aviation support around the State of Utah. 

Their qualifications and duties include, but are not limited to:


  • Be an FAA certificated commercial multiengine fixed-wing and/or rotorcraft pilot.
  • Maintain FAA Class 2 flight physical.
  • Minimum of 2000 pilot in command flight hours.
  • Minimum one-year law enforcement experience. 
  • Conduct pre-flight and post-flight inspections of assigned aircraft and related equipment.
  • Conduct all flight operations in accordance with FAA, Department policies and Aero Bureau Policy and Procedures.
  • Exercise good judgment during normal operations and when deviating from normal procedures in the event of an emergency.
  • Ensure that primary consideration will be the safety of the occupants of the aircraft in the event of an emergency.
  • Exercise the highest degree of care in all flight operations to minimize the possibility of accident or incident resulting in damage or injury


Aero Bureau observers are non-aviation rated UHP officers who are trained to provide aerial observation and operate the support devices in the helicopters and airplanes. 

Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct observation activities and respond to radio calls.
  • Coordinate by radio with ground units that are being supported by Aero Bureau aircraft.
  • Operate FLIR, Nightsun, and data recorders.
  • Conduct passenger safety briefs.
  • Establish, control and conduct remote LZs operations.
  • Marshal, load and unload passengers safely from running and non-running aircraft.
  • Provide dismounted SAR operations.
  • Assure that the support equipment required for the flight working order and is placed onboard the aircraft.
  • Maintain proficiency in the use of support equipment.
  • Be knowledgeable in areas of aircraft safety procedures on the flight line and in the air, including loading and unloading passengers and equipment.

Openings are limited due to the small number of pilot positions and pilots tend to stay long term once hired.  Observer positions are also limited, but turnover occurs more often due to troopers taking the opportunity to move into other areas for advancement.

[Last Update - Friday, 08-Mar-2013 16:25:28 MST]