Mangalore Airport to again host firebombing trials

By Country News

Victoria’s night firebombing trial will continue in the summer of 2018-19, with Mangalore Airport again one of the hosting aerodromes.

According to Emergency Management Victoria’s commissioner Andrew Crisp, night-time aerial firebombing has the potential to significantly improve Victoria’s firefighting capability by building on the work done during the day to contain fires.

The next phase of the trial will seek to determine how night firebombing can be integrated into existing control arrangements, and build capability and confidence in operating aircraft after dark using night-vision technology.

Mr Crisp said the trial would see aircraft deployed to a range of scenarios, including target simulation and progressing to real fires.

Assessments will be made throughout the trial on how best to integrate the capability within existing control arrangements.

‘‘The trial is safety focused and builds on the successful work done in Ballarat during the 2017-18 summer season,’’ he said.

‘‘The trial includes a range of training scenarios and flights which demonstrate the capability at night to hover above a water source to fill the aircraft before dropping water on a range of targets including fires at designated locations.

‘‘Night crews will need to complete reconnaissance flights during the afternoon before water bombing flights during the night.’’

Ballarat will also host trials.