Tasmania’s summer aviation firefighting fleet was launched today at the Springvale Air Base at Cranbrook, where the contracted aircraft are being used to control the McNeills Road fire at Swansea.

The two fixed-wing bombers and three rotary-wing helicopters (water-bombing) along with two McDermott platform helicopters (air attack supervision/intelligence) have been contracted through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) and will be managed from the new State Air Operations Unit, providing crucial support to ground crews over the coming months.

The main role of aircraft is to help our firefighting agencies get on top of fires quickly by providing a rapid response to reduce the risk of fires spreading. The aircraft are already being put to good use, assisting in the firefighting efforts currently being undertaken in Swansea on the State’s East Coast.

Investment in the national aerial firefighting fleet is a critical part of protecting the Tasmanian community during bushfire season. NAFC is an excellent example of cooperation between State and Territory governments and the Australian Government to achieve the best outcome for the community and provide the best possible support for firefighters.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is committed to ensuring Tasmania is as prepared and well-resourced as possible to keep communities safe this bushfire season.