Expressions of Interest are now open for new research that will help us assess whether aerial firefighting operations are effective and efficient.
The use of aircraft in firefighting is one of the most expensive components of response and mitigation, with an underdeveloped evidence base. While there is evidence that aerial suppression is highly effective for initial fire attack, there is much less for more specific objectives, such as property protection, stopping or slowing fire progression, and during extended attack operations. The ability to effectively evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the aerial firefighting fleet remains a long-standing challenge of the sector. With better information, fire authorities can obtain and deploy the most suitable aerial firefighting aircraft based on the operating environment and the task at hand.
Part of the Centre's core research program, and in partnership with AFAC's National Aerial Firefighting Centre, the Why fly? How do we know that aerial firefighting operations are effective and efficient? project aims to:
- understand and build the existing use profile of the aerial firefighting (water-bombing) platforms, across different states, territories and landscapes in Australia.
- understand the profile of the purposes for which aerial firefighting platforms are deployed, and how effective that purpose has been.
The overall goal of this study is to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of aerial firefighting operations in Australia using both data analysis from the ARENA database and case study analyses of specific aerial fire-fighting incident responses. This analysis should describe aerial water-bombing platforms in this data according to their efficacy and reliability for the different contexts.
The data analysis will be enhanced by the insights gained through carefully chosen case studies and interviews with key representatives who were involved that will demonstrate operational decision-making complexities that are not always immediately apparent.
Expressions of Interest for this project have been extended. EOIs are now open until 11:59pm AEDT on Monday 1 May 2023. EOIs must be prepared using the Centre's EOI submission form.
Find out more about this EOI, including the submission form and any frequently asked questions, on the Why fly? How do we know that aerial firefighting operations are effective and efficient? project page.