FAA approves Aero-Flite’s Dash 8-400AT for aerial firefighting across the US

May 13, 2024

Aero-Flite receives FAA certification for Dash 8-400AT airtanker

Aero-Flite Inc. has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the Dash 8-400AT airtanker.

This certification allows U.S.-registered Dash 8-400ATs to conduct aerial firefighting missions throughout all states, with Aero-Flite, based in Spokane, Washington, overseeing operations.

Dash 8-400AT enhances U.S. aerial firefighting capabilities

The Dash 8-400AT airtanker, operated by Aero-Flite under a long-term, multi-year contract with the state of Washington, will be deployed in 2023.

The company also announced that the airtankers would be available for operations coordinated with multiple U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and individual state authorities.

Aero-Flite has completed extensive preparations for this launch, including comprehensive training for seven pilots ready to undertake operations.

The Dash 8-400AT’s operational advantages and future deployment

According to Chris Niemann, General Manager at Aero-Flite: “The Dash offers greater flexibility and responsiveness than larger airtankers, while still providing a comparable payload capacity.

“It can operate from shorter runways at higher elevations, positioned in smaller airtanker bases located closer to where wildfires occur, meaning a fast response to the fire and back.

“Plus, they burn significantly less fuel than a Type 1, larger airtanker, resulting in much lower operational costs while delivering a similar punch to the fire.”

FSJA Comment

The FAA’s approval of the Dash 8-400AT for Aero-Flite marks a significant enhancement in aerial firefighting resources within the United States.

The introduction of the Dash 8-400AT reflects a strategic adaptation to the evolving demands of wildfire management, promising increased efficiency in response times and cost management.

Read Next

Subscribe Now