South Yorkshire Police confirmed it has started development on its drone capability offering.
Led by the Airport Policing Group at Doncaster, the project started with the acquisition of two drones last year.
As part of the release, the force confirmed the plan is to provide flexible coverage of Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s airfield in the event of an incident.
Funding has now been approved by senior officers to expand the force’s fleet of drones from two to eight operational aircraft, which will be deployed routinely for a variety of operations.
PC Gordon Sitch commented on how he saw drones as a tool which could be beneficial to his team.
He said: “Whilst experimenting with our first two drones and after discussions with other forces, it became clear that we could be using this technology beyond the airfield’s fences.”
He added: “We have made the case for investing in further aircraft, so that they can be used more routinely across the force.”
As well as increasing the number of aircraft, 20 officers from across the force will undergo pilot training in line with CAA regulations.
Operational support unit inspector, Martin Rodgers, also supported the project.
He added: “Whilst we will still be working closely with our colleagues at NPAS (National Police Air Service) for certain operations, adding this resource will mean we can respond more quickly and spontaneously to incidents.”
Once training has been completed, the force will have 24/7 drone coverage and aircraft will be able to be deployed to help officers with a variety of operations, including:
Pilot training is due to start in March.