The new Exclusive Use contracts for Next Generation Airtankers will go to:An article from the Montana based Missoulian annoucing the award may be found here.
- Aero-Flite, Inc., Spokane, Washington – 2 Avro RJ85s
- Neptune Aviation Services, Inc., Missoula, Montana – 4 BAe-146s
This will bring the total number of Next Generation Airtankers currently under Exclusive Use contract with the Forest Service to 14.
- 10 Tanker Air Carrier, LLC, Albuquerque, New Mexico – 1 DC-10
As usual, Bill Gabbert of Fire Aviation provided excellent coverage of this award in an article he posted on October, 1, 2015. I thought that he made an excellent point about past protests of these types of contracts, wondering if this award might be protested, Gabbert says:
Most of the contracts the U.S. Forest Service has attempted to issue in recent years for large and very large air tankers have been protested, which suspends the activation of the contract until the Government Accountability Office adjudicates the dispute. This contract has already been protested by Coulson Aviation and Erickson Aero Tanker even before the closing date of the solicitation. However, the GAO decided in July to deny the protests. But that does not mean that there will not be additional protests now that the contracts have been awarded.Time will tell.