Just in: Evergreen International Aviation Statement Concerning the Supertanker

Date: 6/29/12
Evergreen International Aviation Statement Concerning the Supertanker
We felt compelled to release this statement due to the overwhelming amount of calls we have
received concerning the availability of the Evergreen Supertanker. We at Evergreen are saddened
by the fire devastation now taking place in many Western US states. For over 60 years, we have
supported the US Forest Service in its important mission to battle and control fires, and it is our
desire to continue this rich history of service. While our helicopters continue to work fires for the
State of Alaska under State contracts, unfortunately, our Boeing 747 Supertanker Very Large Air
Tanker (VLAT) aircraft awaits activation with the US Forest Service.
We have never been told why we have not been activated by the US Forest Service, so we can
only speculate as to why we face this outcome:

.

1. We were offered a Call-When-Needed (CWN) contract a few years ago by the US Forest
Service (proving our technical viability), but we were never called into action resulting in
a multi-million dollar loss to our company as we were required to maintain and have
flight crew available should we be called. The only contract that will sustain a VLAT
program is an Exclusive-Use contract, which provides an income stream to sustain the
program even if the asset is not utilized. We invested over $50M to develop this asset in
the firm belief that we could better control fires as we proved in Israel and Mexico under
CWN contracts that we could afford to offer at the time.

 
2. There have been recent changes to the US Forest Service procurement policies. Today,
only small businesses are eligible for contract awards concerning air tanker assets;
Evergreen is not a small business and, therefore, is excluded from consideration for any
award.

3. The US Forest Service’s specification for Next Generation Air Tanker aircraft limits tank
size to 5,000 gallons. The Supertanker’s tanks hold about 20,000 gallons, which is
considered outside the USFS specification. The USFS just awarded contracts to four
small businesses with aircraft equipped with these smaller tanks, and excluded the
Evergreen Supertanker. Since World War II, tank capacities have been in the 3,000 to
5,000 gallon range, yet we continue to face the growing threat from mega fires today. We
believe the Supertanker represents an overwhelming response to this growing threat.
Please contact your state representatives in Washington DC to demand an examination of their
current procurement policies concerning VLAT aircraft. The US Forest Service says it best:
“Only YOU can prevent wildfires.”

- open as .pdf

Evergreen International Aviation, Inc. Tel: 503.472.9361 www.EvergreenAviation.com

     ___________________________________________________________________________

  Evergreen Aviation:  747 Air Tanker facts

 

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2 Responses to Just in: Evergreen International Aviation Statement Concerning the Supertanker

  1. Joe Payne says:

    Sorry I jumped the gun on my first post and have corrected my spelling on this. Please post.

    In Evergreen’s statement above they state, “The US Forest Service’s specification for Next Generation Air Tanker aircraft limits tank size to 5,000 gallons. The Supertanker’s tanks hold about 20,000 gallons, which is considered outside the USFS specification.”

    I searched for the US Forest Service’s site for specifications and found only the following regarding “Next Generation Air Tankers”. Nothing is said in regards limiting the tank size to 5,000 gallons.

    I would like to ask Evergreen Air if they filed The Request for Proposals (RFP) as instructed to do so by the US Forest Service and if so would they post the US Forest Service’s reply to that Proposal.

    USDA Forest Service
    LARGE AIRTANKER
    MODERNIZATION STRATEGY

    http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/aviation/airtanker_modernization_strategy.pdf

    Final Version Released February 10,2012 January 17,2012 Page 12

    The Forest Service, in partnership with the Department of the Interior, is already moving forward to contract for next generation aircraft. The recent RFI gauged interest in next generation large airtankers that could carry more than 3,000 gallons, were turbine powered and could fly faster than 300 knots. It drew an overwhelming response from industry. A dozen vendors responded with a dozen different aircraft alternatives. Aircraft proposed included the BAe-146, Boeing MD-87 and Bombardier Q400. There is interest and ability by a wide range of sources to provide aircraft to meet Federal next generation large airtanker requirements.
    The Request for Proposals (RFP) has been posted and will be open until January 31, 2012. This solicitation was specifically designed to allow new and existing contractors flexibility to enter into the
    USDA Forest Service next generation large airtanker business with time to develop airtankers, reducing financial risk and a stepped approach to contract awards.

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