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European aerial firefighting

Fixed-wing operations for Vigil del Fuoco Italy

Babcock was re-awarded the aerial firefighting contract by the Italian Ministry of Interior in 2017. The contract officially started in February 2018. The contract was awarded for four years and includes an option for a further four-year extension. The first four years are worth around AU$289 million and the extension would increase this value to around AU$578 million.

The contract, which Babcock had been successfully operating for the previous seven years, includes the delivery of aerial firefighting services across up to ten bases around Italy, fleet management, operations and maintenance of 19 x CL-415 Canadair aircraft owned by the Italian Government. This is the largest Canadair fleet in the world.

In the summer of 2018, our Italian fleet assisted in the sudden and unusual wildfires that affected Sweden and Greece due to extreme weather conditions.

In Sweden, our teams were part of a pan-European joint effort to help contain and extinguish the more than 50 fires spread across locations throughout the country.

Then in Greece, our Italian customer deployed two of our Canadair-CL-415 ‘waterbombers’ to the densely populated areas around Athens that were being ravaged by out-of-control wildfires. These amphibious aircraft can carry 6,000 litres of water at a time and can be flown low over fires and dropped over pre-designated areas under the command of a central control centre.

Babcock is proud to support international efforts by delivering a fully integrated and professional aerial firefighting management service. Our work is underpinned by our own proprietary technology investments and internally delivered mission specialist pilot training. We operate both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft throughout Europe making Babcock the world’s largest private aerial firefighting operator.

Canadair-CL 415 ‘waterbombers’

At a glance
  • Around 3,600 aerial firefighting missions flown annually
  • 10 Maintenance bays across two bases: Ciampino (Rome) and Lamezia Terme
  • Largest private CL-415 workforce in Europe
  • Supporting 19 CL-415 firefighting aircraft
  • 44,759 firefighting missions in 2018

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