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The National Police Air Service (NPAS)

Project value: £2.95million

Sector: Blue light

Local spend within 40 miles: 81%

Local labour within 20 miles: 47%

Waste diverted from landfill: 100%

This is how construction should be; led by an intelligent client team, good project management, QS’s working together and a main contractor that foresees problems and is able to work with the client to adapt to a situation.

Kristy Kinghorn

Head of Ground Infrastructure (Ground Ops Post Holder)

A standardisation of National Police Air Service facilities to deliver economy of scale and sustainability

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) provide a vital fully borderless air service to all police forces across England and Wales. NPAS carry out a wide variety of tasks for police forces such as searching for high risk missing people, suspects, managing vehicle pursuits, counter terrorism and specialist firearms operations.

To continue to offer the high standard of service securely and effectively, the project was designed and built as part of a collaborative process with all stakeholders to offer value for money for the provision of high quality sustainable facilities.


This project is one of two delivered by Kier for NPAS, providing updated facilities to ensure continued national air cover support for the police when tackling crime and protecting society. The design was formulated to consider a degree of standardisation to provide economy of scale when used for other similar projects. The lattice structure and accommodation is all demountable for reuse, making it more environmentally sustainable by reducing wastage of materials.

The Doncaster Airport project comprises a new hangar, accommodation, apron, taxiway, fuel facility and security works. This was an urgent requirement so that the NPAS can operate effectively and securely across the region and also act as a benchmark project.

The site is located at a live International Airport which was previously used for military purposes. Therefore there was a requirement to decommission redundant MOD infrastructure, provide a full new air-side fence, collaborate with the airport on security and deal with interface issues.

Challenges included the need for attenuation for drainage, high security measures, an incoming gas main and the management of the divide between airside and landside.

The airside radial power circuit for the whole airside operations ran through the site, therefore great care was necessary to avoid any damage.

To reduce on-site activity, a modular solution was adopted for the accommodation with a lattice steel frame designed especially for aircraft and corrosion protection. At all times great care was needed to avoid cranes impacting aircraft flight paths and visibility.

Given the constraints, a lot of work was undertaken in collaboration with the client to achieve the shared target cost. Catherine Sawley from Pick Everard was a key player in delivering the project, ensuring that the quantity surveyor, Kier and the client worked collaboratively to meet budget requirements.

The project was delivered on time and budget, fully to the client’s precise requirements.

Innovation included improved design of the substructure and drainage works, and the use of stainless steel anchors rather than mild steel for better anti-corrosion performance. Downpipes located on the line of cladding seams conceal joints and the polished concrete floor enables better wear and ease of cleaning.

The excellent working relationship has led to four further projects and the client’s trust in Kier to assist with feasibility through to final completion.

The client reported: This is how construction should be; led by an intelligent client team, good project management, QS’s working together and a main contractor that foresees problems and is able to work with the client to adapt to a situation. The NEC ECC Option A contract can be an easy and excellent route to fulfilling a build contract if the individuals involved ALL have a can-do attitude, are empathetic and bring solutions to the table after identifying the problem. It is essential that everyone is willing to adapt and ‘give-a-little’ if, and when the need arises.


SME spend


SME engagement


Client satisfaction score

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