Australia's National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) is evaluating responses to its recently closed request for proposals (RFP) for the country's 2005-6 fire season, ahead of seeking best and final offers from selected suppliers. The process comes as the 2004-5 fire season has started in the east and south of the country.

The NAFC was formed last year as part of a National Aerial Firefighting Strategy to more effectively manage firefighting aircraft on behalf of Australia's states and territories.

The NAFC says it received a good response to the RFP and is now identifying preferred suppliers that will be approached for best and final offers through a closed tender process. Contracts are due to be finalised by next May, it says, ahead of the start of the fire season in September. The NAFC is seeking suppliers for aerial firebombing services, winching of firefighters, transport of firefighters, transport of equipment, air attack supervision aircraft and training of firefighters. The centre is also seeking proposals for helicopters in three categories.

Source: Flight International