(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 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.”