Two companies file protests over air tanker contracting procedure

next-gen air tankers
Next-Gen air tankers at Redding, August 7, 2014. Coulson’s C-130Q on the left and Neptune’s BAe-146 on the right. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The U.S. Forest Service (FS) had hoped to have as many as seven additional “Next Generation” large air tankers working under contract on May 30, 2015, but protests filed by two companies could push that date back by several months.

Two companies have filed protests about this latest round of potential contracts, Coulson Aviation and Erickson Aero Tanker. The protests were lodged with the U.S. Government Accountability Office which has the responsibility of deciding whether the protests have merit, which they are required to do by July 9 for Coulson’s protest and July 17 for Erickson’s. Both companies later amended their original complaints, which complicates the procedure for the GAO, so it is unlikely that anything will be decided much before those mid-July due dates…

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Two companies file protests over air tanker contracting procedure”

  1. I understand the idea of being fair but you’d think having assets on the ground without a contract would be a problem for the government. Instead of expediting these complaints here we are screwing around for a month. Protecting people, homes and land should be first on everyone’s mind during fire season.


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