Two companies file protests over air tanker contracts

Five additional large air tankers on contract were announced March 26

T-41 Redding
Tanker 41, a BAe-146, lands at Redding August 7, 2014 after dropping on a fire in northwest California.

(UPDATED at 2:46 p.m. MDT April 10, 2020)

Two companies have filed protests with the Government Accountability Office regarding recent contracts for five large exclusive use air tankers. The U.S. Forest Service announced on March 26 that three companies received contracts on the Next Gen 3.0 solicitation — Erickson Aero Tanker for two tankers, Aero Flite for two, and Coulson for one.

Neptune Aviation and 10 Tanker Air Carrier both filed bid protests (here and here) on April 6, 2020. The due date for the GAO to adjudicate the action is July 15, 2020.

Neptune has four tankers and 10 Tanker has two on the existing Next Gen 1.0 and 2.0 contracts. There are a total of 13 aircraft on the two contracts.

Typically a protest halts all work on a new air tanker contract. We asked Kaari E. Carpenter, a Lead Public Affairs Specialist with the Forest Service, if that was the case in this instance, and she replied, “Due to the timing of the protests there is an automatic stay of performance.”

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

  1. BAe-146 . Look at that landing gear! looks like it could be carrier qualified!! Just add a Tailhook!! lol Cheers!

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