The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled an “Airtanker and Water Scooper Forum” to be held in Boise November 19-20, 2013. Today they posted a notice about it at the GSA site that is normally used for solicitations about contracts and requests for proposals, fbo.gov — an odd way to advertise a conference. It even has a Solicitation Number (SN-2014-01). But, almost everything the federal government does concerning fire aviation is odd.
This is rather short notice for a meeting like this.
The topics include:
- Questions (preferably submitted in advance) and answers.
- Review of accidents.
- Future strategy for airtankers, VLATs, and water scoopers: next-gen, legacy, budgets, fleet design, aerial supervision, policy and operational changes, pilot practical test standards.
- Contracts Q&A.
- Aviation audits.
- Technology: ATU, AFF, AFUE.
- Aviation program updates: FAS-AVID report, night flying, public aircraft operations, retardant avoidance areas.
Speaking of aviation, I checked into air fares between Rapid City and Boise and was shocked — $858 was the lowest. Holy Crap. RAP is expensive to fly out of because of a lack of competition.
Thankfully, as far as I know there is no admission fee to attend the Forum.