Between the beginning of the "yellow vests" movement in October 2018 and last Saturday's Act XVIII, the gendarmerie's EC-135 helicopters flew 717 hours over the rallies, military officials said. Point.
A report from the Senate estimated in 2014 that an hour of flight of these machines cost between 812 and 1,690 euros. The average cost price would be 1,412 euros. The operations would have already cost 1.01 million euros.
Powerful cameras to film the demonstrations
The EC-135s are mainly involved in the skies of six major French cities: Paris, Lyon, Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux and Toulouse. The French gendarmerie has a fleet of 56 helicopters, 47 of which are in mainland France. 15 of them are EC-135s and six of them were systematically used to fly over the "yellow vests" movement sites.
The missions of these helicopters are multiple. Their presence may initially be a deterrent and help maintain order. Their cameras, equipped with a powerful zoom, are also able to provide valuable elements for the authorities. The images can guide the tactical decisions of the command but also serve as evidence in case of legal proceedings.