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Manitoba Wildfire Suppression Services

November 30, 2018 – Babcock is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a contract for aerial firefighting by the Government of Manitoba, Canada. The Wildfire Suppression Services Contract has been issued by the Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development and is for a period of ten years. We are proud to be working in partnership with Air Spray, an experienced, safe and effective provider of air tanker aircraft throughout Western Canada for over 60 years, and in the US through its subsidiary Air Spray USA since 2011. The contract includes the management, maintenance and operation of Manitoba’s fleet of seven Canadair water-bomber amphibious aircraft (four CL-415s and three CL-215s), supported by three Babcock-owned Twin Commander “bird-dog” aircraft. Manitoba will retain ownership of the water-bomber aircraft, parts, inventory, special tools and equipment but will transfer care and custody to Babcock as lessee. Based on operations in prior years, the Wildfire Suppression Service will provide approximately 1400 flying hours and 3,750 water drops per year. Babcock is expected to achieve and maintain in excess of 96% aircraft availability, ensuring aircraft are available from 1 April to 30 September.

Operations will cover the entire Province of Manitoba (649,950km2) and will help to protect communities in a population of 1.3 million people.

Mike Whalley, the President of Babcock Canada, commented: “Babcock has over 30 years of fixed and rotary wing aerial firefighting experience throughout Europe. In 2017, our aircraft and crews carried out over 5,500 firefighting missions, dropped 174m litres of water and logged over 20,000 hours in support of wildfire suppression. We deliver a fully integrated and professional aerial firefighting management service, underpinned by technology investments and mission specialist pilot training. We are delighted and honoured that the Government of Manitoba has entrusted us with this critical service and we look forward to serving the Province and protecting the natural resources and communities of Manitoba.”

Read the Manitoba government’s official announcement

For more information, please contact:

Jake Jacobson, Vice President, Babcock Canada
[email protected], (613) 294-8758


Nicholas Avellaneda, Manager, Marketing & External Communications
[email protected], (613) 295-3120

About Babcock

With a corporate focus on critical missions and operations, complex asset management, technology integration, and specialist training, our 35,000-strong organization helps customers around the world to improve the capability, reliability and availability of their most critical assets within the key market sectors of Marine, Land, Aviation, and Nuclear.

 Operating in Canada since 2008, we network committed experts with purpose-built Canadian teams to design, build, manage, operate and maintain assets vital to the delivery of critical public services. Our 400 personnel work across Canada: in Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Victoria. We are developing effective Canadian solutions to address Canadian challenges with trusted expertise born of global experience.

About Air Spray

Based in Alberta, Canada and California, USA, Air Spray owns and operates a fleet of over 40 Airtankers and lead planes, including Single Engine Airtankers, Amphibious Scoopers and Heavy Airtankers. Air Spray also carries out Airtanker conversions, retardant tank design and manufacture and develops flight simulators for Airtanker fire mission training.

Operating since 1954, Air Spray is one of the world’s oldest and most experienced aerial firefighting companies. Air Spray’s many years of experience working in extreme fire conditions in Canada, the United States and Europe is the key to our ability to provide exceptional aircraft, outstanding service and at all times, safety in all that we do.