Coulson partners with Linfox to form consortium for fighting bushfires

Coulson's Tanker 132
Coulson’s new Tanker 132, formerly operated by the Norwegian military. Coulson photo, November, 2020.

Coulson Aviation and Linfox have agreed to work together in a consortium to help Australians suppress bushfires. Coulson will bring helicopters and air tankers to the table to work with the logistics company Linfox, with both presently operating on multiple continents.

The proposed fleet of large fixed wing air tankers, super heavy helicopters, and fire intelligence gathering aircraft will be based and operated throughout the State and Territories in Australia, with maintenance and support infrastructure supplied in New South Wales and Victoria.

The team intends to work with State Governments, Territories, emergency services agencies, and within any framework agreed by the Federal Government. Australia has one of the largest volunteer firefighting forces in the world. They intend to build a world class training facility and center of excellence for volunteers to create a strong, intelligence-led and informed approach to firefighting.

The 365 day a year fleet is intended to offer firebombing, intelligence gathering, and aerial firefighting support services during the fire seasons, but also search and rescue, surveillance and medical evacuation services at other times.

The combining of the two company’s unique skill sets will allow the consortium to set up remote bases where aircraft can reload retardant close to a live fire zone, rather than having to fly, sometimes for hours, to the nearest airport – and then back again.

Chairman of Coulson Aviation Australia, Wayne Coulson said, ‘We’ve learned through many major fire campaigns globally the enormous effect of large capacity air tankers in managing bushfires, particularly when we bring the fight at night; this results in lives saved and houses standing and that’s why we do what we do.’

“There is always an opportunity to improve our nation’s approach to aerial firefighting,’’ added Lindsay Fox, founder of Linfox. “Each of the States and Territories are responsible for their own emergency response, so each response varies. As our fire seasons get longer – and become more dangerous and unpredictable, the most sensible – and safe – solution is a co-ordinated, national approach.”

Coulson's Tanker 132
Coulson’s new Tanker 132. Coulson photo, November, 2020.