The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is planning to analyze current and potential airtanker bases to determine infrastructure capabilities and deficiencies, according to a Request For Information (RFI) announcement released Wednesday.
The USFS currently utilizes a number of airtanker bases throughout the United States (approximately 59 - 65) where it performs large operations. In an effort to determine the viability and needs of current airtanker bases, an assessment of the facilities, operations and personnel will be necessary to help make determinations for future improvements. Specifically, the agency will look into adequacy of airtanker base design, airtanker base operations, geographic/range efficiency, and airtanker base personnel staffing, qualifications and training regarding the utilization of commercial grade jet aircraft as "Next Generation" airtankers.
“Part of the assessment will include travel to the airtanker bases, interviews with key stakeholders, review of agency handbooks and operational guides, providing recommendations and cost estimates (for improvements),” USFS officials said in the RFI document.
Companies interested in supporting the “Air Tanker Base Review/Assessment” should contact USFS by Sept. 16.