Province drops two new water bombers into Budget 2014

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As budget 2014 approaches, provincial government news releases on spending are increasing from a trickle to a flood.

A water bomber is shown flying over a forest area near Gander Lake in this Transcontinential Media file photo.

The province announced this morning, a day ahead of the budget being released, it will be purchasing two new Bombardier 415 water bombers.

The aircraft will cost US$73.7 million. Budget 2014 includes an investment of $11.7 million for the two planes.  

The announcement was made by Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath at Gander International Airport. The first of the aircraft will be delivered this spring. The second will arrive in the fall of 2015.

“Our government has made a firm commitment to building our forest fire capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador. As reflected by today’s major announcement we are fulfilling that commitment to replace decades-old water bombers with new state-of-the art infrastructure that strengthens our ability to protect communities and residents from the threat of forest fires,” McGrath said.

Once the first plane arrives, the province’s fire suppression aircraft will include four Bombardier 415 water bombers, one CL-215 water bomber and one Cessna spotter. The second new water bomber will replace the CL-215. The fleet is positioned in five bases - Wabush, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Deer Lake, Gander and St. John’s.

“This is a considerable investment in integral infrastructure and ensures that we are well-positioned to minimize risk to provincial resources. While the permanent base of operations is in Gander, the aircraft will be strategically located during forest firefighting season. They will benefit the entire province,” said Kevin O’Brien, minister of advanced education and skills and MHA for Gander.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, on average there are 80 to 100 forest fires annually that need to be suppressed through aerial and ground efforts.

Organizations: Cessna

Geographic location: Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Happy Valley Goose Bay Deer Lake

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Recent comments

  • george p b
    March 26, 2014 - 14:39

    Sounds like a good use of taxpayer $$$$. Upgrading ageing equipment is a great idea, compared to the $$$ spent for thr Humber Valley Planning $cheme...

  • Is an election coming....
    March 26, 2014 - 13:05

    Guess they ran out of communities that ''needed'' new fire trucks...

  • Roger Pickett
    March 26, 2014 - 11:24

    The fact is that one of the Waterbombers is a replacement for the one that crashed in Moosehead lake

  • steve
    March 26, 2014 - 09:52

    Lots of suck up money moving around now

    • Dolf
      March 26, 2014 - 13:58

      Expect more. Some people just love being bought with their own money.