Neptune Aviation receives USFS contract for 2024 wildfire season

May 23, 2024

Neptune Aviation’s fleet committed to wildfire protection

Neptune Aviation Services has been awarded a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) by the United States Forest Service (USFS) for the 2024 wildfire season.

As reported by Neptune Aviation, the contract includes task orders for three BAe 146 aircraft, all for exclusive use.

The contract encompasses a base year with four 1-year options and 160-day guaranteed Mandatory Availability Periods (MAP).

This award, combined with existing contracts, commits Neptune’s entire fleet of nine airtankers to exclusive-use contracts.

Jennifer Draughon, President of Neptune Aviation, said: “All of our BAe 146 aircraft are strategically deployed under contract in key wildfire-prone regions, including California and Colorado, ensuring nationwide coverage and rapid response capabilities.”

She added: “We are proud to support wildland firefighting efforts across the country and we are grateful to everyone at Neptune for helping us to secure this contract.

“Their commitment to excellence has solidified Neptune as a leader in aerial firefighting.”

BAe 146 aircraft’s firefighting capabilities

Neptune’s BAe 146 airtankers are well-suited for aerial wildland firefighting.

These aircraft offer slow flight characteristics, high cruising speed, and excellent maneuverability.

They have a stellar record of operational safety and do not require special ground support, allowing operations from airfields with minimal assistance.

Each aircraft can be loaded with 3,000 gallons of fire retardant or water in as little as six minutes.

The aircraft reserved through this contract have already started their MAP.

The first commenced on Tuesday, May 21, with the other two scheduled to begin within the week.

Neptune Aviation’s operational readiness

Neptune Aviation’s fleet is strategically positioned in wildfire-prone regions to ensure rapid response.

The company’s commitment to operational excellence and safety has made it a reliable partner in wildfire suppression efforts.

The exclusive-use contracts allow Neptune to provide dedicated and immediate support to firefighting operations across the nation.

Photo credit: Marty Wolin

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