Australia's National Firefighting Centre (NAFC) is seeking new contracts for the acquisition and deployment of firefighting aircraft throughout the country for the 2005-6 fire season.

The NAFC was set up last year by the country's fire authorities and land management groups to organise aerial firefighting resources on a national basis. Australia's 2003-4 summer was the first time that the country had a national firefighting resources plan, as states and territories were previously responsible for sourcing their own equipment.

Contracts for Australia's first national firefighting plan were won by Helicorp, Helicopter Resources and McDermott Aviation, providing equipment including Erickson Air Crane Helitankers, Bell 205s, Bell 214Bs, Eurocopter AS350-B3 Squirrels and Mil Mi-8s.

The NAFC expects to issue a new request for proposals (RFP) on 7 June, to be followed by an industry briefing in Sydney on 12 July and the RFP closing on 27 August. The centre aims to finalise contracts by 1 May 2005.

Source: Flight International