Conair Aerial Firefighting
Conair Electra over Harrison Hot Springs, photo by Larry Scholle
This month we visited Conair Aerial Firefighting’s base in Abbotsford and spent some time with Jeff Berry, Director of Business Development. A tour of the facility included three large hangars full of aerial firefighting equipment and a “bee hive” of busy workers prepping the aircraft for the fire season. The Government’s decision to retain a Next Generation RJ85 air tanker for the 2016 fire season has Conair extremely pleased. To date, 5 aircraft conversions have been completed and Conair is in the process of converting the 6th
– which you can see mid-conversion in their hangar.
Conair has just begun the planning and design phase to incorporate technological enhancements to the existing Q400. When completed, Conair will have the most versatile, 10,000 litre airtanker combination on the market today. The system will incorporate an advanced Conair retardant delivery system that has been tested in France for the past 10 seasons with the newly designed Bombardier Q400 cargo combination aircraft.
It was also recently announced that a M.O.U. for a Conair/CAE RJ85 wildfire training and simulation centre to be built in BC. Conair currently sends prospective pilots and pilots in need of recurrent training, to a RJ85 Class D Simulator in Switzerland. The establishment of the training facility in B.C. allows Conair to train locally which reduces costs and increases access to world class training. Once the flight training centre is established it will create many new job opportunities including Fight Simulator trainers, Simulator Technicians and Operations Centre Staff.
BCAC would like to congratulate Conair on all their recent successes and thank them for their continued support of BCAC and Aviation and Aerospace in B.C.