Budget cuts could cost Alaska State Troopers a helicopter

Alaska State Troopers have already grounded one of their two search and rescue helicopters due to budget cuts, and officials say if changes aren’t made they may not be able to afford the other.

KTVA-TV reports that the Fairbanks-based helicopter Helo 2 has been grounded indefinitely since July due to budget cuts and currently troopers can only afford to keep the Anchorage-based Helo 3 in use through June 2016.

Troopers have had to contract with outside companies for search and rescue missions both because of bad weather and because of the high cost of using a helicopter.

Search and Rescue coordinator Lt. Steve Adams says despite the costs, they do not turn down search and rescue missions, though outside companies can sometimes cost more money and take more time.