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Fri, Jan 27, 2012

Multi-City Helicopter Agency Liquidated

California Cities End ABLE, Outsource Air Support

The depth and duration of the economic recession has pushed at least two cities from simply putting their aviation operations on hiatus, to actually selling off the aircraft. The cooperative agency known as ABLE, for Airborne Law Enforcement, has been jointly funded for 30 years by the California cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Both have now voted to defund the program, and ABLE has retained private brokers to sell the agency's three helicopters. reports two firms have contracts to try to liquidate the affected assets, both under 30 day contracts with options for ABLE to renew. Jack Schafer Aircraft Sales of Santa Anna, CA will reportedly be paid a commission of 4.5 percent on helicopter sales. An online auction company based in Alabama,, will be paid 5 percent on the sales of other agency equipment not put into service with one of the two participating police departments.

The move doesn't bring an end to helicopter support for the two police departments. Both cities have new arrangements with the city of Huntington Beach, with Costa Mesa contracted to pay $700 per hour when a helicopter is called out.



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