Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Aerial Firefighters Pressing Colorado Lawmakers To Consider Contracting

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- At the urging of the privately operated aerial firefighting industry, Colorado State Senator Steve King (R-Grand Junction) has inserted language into a Bill, which--if enacted--would give the Colorado Division Of Fire Prevention And Control the authority to lease or contract three Type 1 helicopters and up to "four large aircraft from the Federal government or other sources" for aerial firefighting.  The legislative proposal, known as Senate Bill 164, also contains a purchase option.

"We fully support the efforts of the State of Colorado to employ assets for aerial firefighting, but we believe it will be far more cost efficient to contract those assets from the private aerial firefighting industry, which is prepared to make them available for this year's fire season," said Tom Eversole, Executive Director of the American Helicopter Services And Aerial Firefighting Association (AHSAFA).  "We applaud the fact that, unlike legislation introduced last year, Senate Bill 164 specifically includes language which permits the State of Colorado to contract those aircraft from private operators."

According to Ron Hooper, Chief Executive Officer of Missoula, Montana-based Neptune Aviation Services, the biggest impediment to state ownership and operation of aerial firefighting assets is what he called "the very large initial upfront investment," which he explained.

"The state would be looking at aircraft acquisition costs and the expenses associated with the operational support infrastructure which includes constructing or leasing hangars, the hiring of flight crews and mechanics, and a spare parts inventory—all of which could run into the tens of millions of dollars.  However, by contracting with private operators, these large upfront costs would be avoided."

Neptune Aviation Services, Hooper pointed out, is currently engaged in discussions with high level Colorado state government officials concerning the contracting of an aircraft and crews for this year's fire season.

"We could make a BAe 146 Next Generation tanker available on either a long-term exclusive use contract of as much as five years, or for as little as one year to help the state government get the initial experience of working with a private operator," he noted.  "We respect Colorado's long term plan to have a dedicated aerial firefighting force, but we believe they should consider at least a one year contract with a private operator as a practical interim measure to protect the critical watershed in western Colorado," said Hooper.

Larry Kelley, Director of Fire Operations for CHI Aviation in Boise, Idaho, reported that should Colorado issue a request for proposal (RFP), the company could make a Sikorsky S-61, or a Eurocopter 332L-1 Puma available in June of this year for the duration of this year's fire season.  Both are Type 1 helicopters.  While CHI Aviation, according to Kelley, has not had discussions with the Colorado state government about contracting operation of the helicopters, he reported that contracting would be a "win-win" situation.

"We already have the pilots on staff, and we are paying their salaries as well as their training costs.  In addition, Colorado would receive a helicopter that is ready to fight fires, and position it to whatever location requested by the state," Kelley said.

"When a state has an exclusive use contract with an aerial firefighting operator, the state knows it will have that resource available to them throughout the contract period, and not have to worry about it being moved elsewhere—which can happen with a tanker on a US Forest Service contract," said Kristin Edwards, Vice-President, Sales for Olney, Texas-based Air Tractor, Inc.  The company manufacturers the AT-802F, a single engine air tanker which has been used under state fire protection contracts.  "In fact, I know of one operator of our aircraft, which has had contracts with Colorado since the 1990s.  I am glad to see that Colorado continues to consider contracting with private operators, instead of having to deal with the costs of owning and maintaining their own aircraft."

Air Tractor, Inc., CHI Aviation, and Neptune Aviation Services are members of AHSAFA, the Washington-based trade association representing the commercial operators of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft engaged in aerial wild land firefighting.

Media Contact: Tom Eversole, American Helicopter Services & Aerial Firefighting Association, 703040904355, [email protected]

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

SOURCE American Helicopter Services & Aerial Firefighting Association

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
The modern software development landscape consists of best practices and tools that allow teams to deliver software in a near-continuous manner. By adopting a culture of automation, measurement and sharing, the time to ship code has been greatly reduced, allowing for shorter release cycles and quicker feedback from customers and users. Still, with all of these tools and methods, how can teams stay on top of what is taking place across their infrastructure and codebase? Hopping between services a...
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud wit...
While testing is often ignored when it comes to DevOps - it could be the most important aspect of achieving true DevOps success. Without rethinking automated testing from the ground-up, the entire DevOps productivity gain cannot be realized. Large tech companies build their own rapid test automation that runs in minutes across functional, performance, security and other tests. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance, will discuss how we learn from these real-world succe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...
Interested in leveraging automation technologies and a cloud architecture to make developers more productive? Learn how PaaS can benefit your organization to help you streamline your application development, allow you to use existing infrastructure and improve operational efficiencies. Begin charting your path to PaaS with OpenShift Enterprise.
“All our customers are looking at the cloud ecosystem as an important part of their overall product strategy. Some see it evolve as a multi-cloud / hybrid cloud strategy, while others are embracing all forms of cloud offerings like PaaS, IaaS and SaaS in their solutions,” noted Suhas Joshi, Vice President – Technology, at Harbinger Group, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Agema Systems will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Agema Systems is the leading provider of critical white-box rack solutions to data centers through the major integrators and value added distribution channels.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
DevOps is gaining traction in the federal government – and for good reasons. Heightened user expectations are pushing IT organizations to accelerate application development and support more innovation. At the same time, budgetary constraints require that agencies find ways to decrease the cost of developing, maintaining, and running applications. IT now faces a daunting task: do more and react faster than ever before – all with fewer resources.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Key Information Systems is a leading regional systems integrator with world-class compute, storage and networking solutions and professional services for the most advanced softwa...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text...