3-Dec-2013 Source: Australian Helicopters
One of Australia’s leading suppliers of mission-critical helicopter services, Australian Helicopters, has won its first dedicated firefighting contract.
Australian Helicopters has been awarded a three-year contract with the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) to be delivered through the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) following a tender process.
The agreement, which includes two one-year extension options, will see Australian Helicopters provide services over the fire season for air attack supervision using two AS350BA aircraft based at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills.
Head of Commercial Lauren Adams said: “We already work with the CFS in South Australia as part of the State Rescue Helicopter Service, however this is an opportunity to work with them on a stand-alone basis as support during the fire season.
“As part of the Avincis Group of Companies, we will also be able to add another level of experience through our sister company, Inaer, who have been providing helicopter firefighting services, primarily in Europe, since 1983.
“Inaer is a pioneer in the use of aircraft in firefighting and currently provides services in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Chile. The crews have extensive experience and specialize in the prevention and combatting of fires, using some of the most modern aircraft currently dedicated to this activity. Last year, Inaer companies performed 7,800 firefighting missions.”
CFS Manager State Aviation Operations, David Pearce, said “The two aircraft will play an important role in CFS aerial firefighting operations, providing first-rate platforms from which our trained personnel can oversee firebombing operations and gather critical fire intelligence for the community.”
“These firefighting aircraft are supported by joint funding from the South Australian Government and the Australian Government through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre.”
The two AS350BA aircraft come online in December and will be on full-time standby over the fire season.