Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Austria 2016 - Austria’s Air Police

ISSUE DATE: 16 November 2016
STAMP DESIGN:Robert Sabolovic / Stefanie Grüssl

In March 1956 the first rescue operation in the alpine area was staged – this year Austria’s Air Police is celebrating its 60th anniversary. In March 2016 the book “Flugpolizei in Österreich – einst und jetzt” (“Austria’s Air Police – then and now”) presented the history of the Air Police to the public. Austrian Post is congratulating them on this anniversary with a commemorative stamp. After the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 1955, the ban on flying was lifted and it was possible to establish the Air Police Department in the Federal Ministry for the Interior. In the beginning the focus was on rescue operations. Having started operations from 1956 using aeroplanes, from the start of the 1960s use was increasingly made of helicopters. 

In 2001 responsibility for the air rescue and ambulance flights was transferred from the Federal Ministry for the Interior to a private air rescue association. Starting with rescue operations in the alpine area, within two decades so-called flight deployment sites had been set up throughout the whole of Austria, with crews and helicopters not only being used for rescue and assistance operations, but also to help uphold the law and maintain peace and security. Special security operations are also undertaken in the field of the civil defence, supporting fire crews in fighting fires from the air for example, or in dealing with other natural catastrophes. In the course of assistance and rescue operations the air police still carry out rescues with ropes in challenging alpine terrain or search for missing persons. On the European level, participation in deployments as part of the bilateral police collaboration and the European border protection agency FRONTEX are becoming increasingly important. The design of the commemorative stamp shows the same image that was depicted on the title page of the brochure celebrating the anniversary, “Flugpolizei in Österreich – einst und jetzt”. Graphic designer Mag. Robert Sabolovic and photographer and member of staff of the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and the Economy Mag. Stefanie Grüssl created the design using historical records from the Federal Ministry for the Interior specially photographed for the purpose. By combining the two photographs, the design is supposed to present the time span of the 60-year history of Austria’s Air Police in a visual way. For this, a historic photograph of the helicopter Agusta Bell 47 G2 was used alongside an up-to-date photograph of a Eurocopter EC 135 P2+ multirole standard helicopter.


Stamp images and description thanks to Austrian Post - Österreichische Post
La Poste