Erickson and Kestrel get $24 million contract extension in Australia


Image courtessy of Erickson and Kestral Aviation.

 Erickson Incorporated and their Australian partner Kestrel Aviation Ltd have been awarded a two-year contract extension to provide wildland firefighting helicopter services in Australia.

The extension is for six S-64E Aircrane helicopters to be used throughout Australia to provide aerial fire suppression during Australia’s severe bushfire seasons. The contract is valued at $24 million, and represents a continuation of Erickson’s 20-year history of being the premier provider of heavy-lift helicopters for wildfire protection in Australia.

Under the agreement, Kestrel and Erickson will provide S-64 Helitankers at up to six different locations throughout Australia for rapid response to threatening bushfires during the October to March fire season.

The Erickson S-64 Helitanker Aircrane is a premier heavy-lift helicopter that has undergone continuous improvements resulting in a highly effective and reliable aerial firefighting aircraft capability of lifting up to 10 tons of water payload. Erickson is the FAA Type Certificate holder and manufacturer of the Aircrane helicopter and currently performs firefighting mission in five countries.

“We have been contracted through Kestrel Aviation to the National Aerial Firefighting Center for the past three years with six Aircranes, and the state fire agencies in Australia have been very pleased with our performance.  This is an important continuation of our firefighting operations throughout Australia; it is a mission we are proud to perform and one we take very seriously on behalf of the citizens of Australia,” said Andy Mills, Vice President of Global Business Development. Rob Lewis, Vice President of Erickson’s Civil Business comments, “Erickson has more than 20 years of firefighting experience in Australia and our crews and pilots—as well as the company as a whole—take a great deal of pride in the special relationship we share with the Australian leadership and community. We appreciate their vote of confidence.”

Kestrel Aviation is one of Australia’s leading providers of specialist aviation services to corporate and government organizations Australia-wide and overseas for emergency response, remote access transport and advance pilot training.  Kestrel has proven expertise in mobilizing additional aircraft in the face of quick demand, as a flight logistics partner with Erickson in Australia. Kestrel has partnered with Erickson Aircrane Incorporated (Erickson) to provide six high-volume water-bombing services in addition to its own fleet of light and medium helicopter based around Australia. Kestrel’s partnership with Erickson combines Kestrel’s proven track record, extensive local experience, major operations base and well-equipped fleet, with Erickson’s versatile heavy-lift Aircranes, technical expertise and global firefighting experience, to deliver powerful and reliable helicopter firefighting capability.

Erickson is a leading global provider of aviation services and operates, maintains and manufactures utility aircraft to safely transport and place people and cargo around the world. Erickson operates a fleet of approximately 69 aircraft, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA, and operates in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Australia. Kestrel Aviation is one of the leading providers of heavy and medium-class firefighting and emergency response helicopters in Australia.