recommended reading

Company Drops its Protest of Forest Service Airtanker Awards

A tanker makes a slurry drop onto a 1,400-acre wildfire northeast of Castaic, Calif.,  in May.

A tanker makes a slurry drop onto a 1,400-acre wildfire northeast of Castaic, Calif., in May. // Nick Ut/AP

Neptune Aviation Services Inc. dropped its bid protest of the award of four next generation firefighting airtanker contracts last Friday, but the aircraft may not be ready for use until the tail-end of the 2013 fire season.

Thomas Tidwell, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, said “this will help modernize our fleet in the quickest manner possible as we face the prospect of a challenging wildfire season.”

Jennifer Jones, a Forest Service spokeswoman at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, said it could take companies awarded the airtanker contracts between 60 to 90 days to get ready to fly wildfire suppression missions. This includes outfitting aircraft with tanks that carry water or chemical retardant, approval of a field trial by an Interagency Tanker Board and FAA certification.

“Since the contracts were awarded in early June, we would expect all of the aircraft to be flying by August-September, although it could be sooner if all of the requirements are met before then,” Jones said.

Neptune’s May 6 protest put a halt to contracts for four airtankers provided by two companies. The protest did not cover another three tankers, and on May 31 the Forest Service awarded five-year contracts with a total value of $71.7 million to Minden Air Corp. of Minden, Nev.; Coulson Aircrane USA of Portland, Ore.; and 10 Tanker Air Carrier LLC of Adelanto, Calif.

Minden will provide the Forest Service with a British Aerospace 146 four-engine regional jet modified for firefighting; 10 Tanker will offer a modified DC-10 tri-jet; and Coulson, a modified military C-130 four-engine turboprop. These aircraft can dump 3,000 gallons, 12,000 gallons and 5,000 gallons respectively from internal tanks on a fire.

Jones said the DC-10 passed its tests and certification last year, and has already helped fight fires this year in California and New Mexico.

Aero Air LLC of Hillsboro, Ore., now has two contracts to supply MD-87 twin jets, and Aero Flite Inc. of Kingman, Ariz., has two contracts to supply a stretched version of the 146, with a total value of $87.7 million for all four aircraft.

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion

Florida’s Concealed Carry Permit Holders Names Exposed

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.