Bombardier Aerospace today announced that the Government of Italy has purchased and taken delivery of three Bombardier 415* amphibious aircraft.
With this order, the Italian Department of Civil Protection is increasing its fleet to 16 aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled to enter service for the 2004 fire season. The contract with Italy also contains an option to install a Search & Rescue system kit to convert one aircraft to the new Bombardier 415MP multi-purpose version, which is expected to be certified later this month.
Since entering service with the Italian Department of Civil Protection in the spring of 1995, the Italian Bombardier 415 fleet has accumulated over 30,880 flight hours. “The Bombardier 415 has consistently demonstrated its unique capabilities by operating effectively in the rugged and demanding conditions of the Italian terrain. Last season, Italy also supported the efforts of its neighbouring countries by sending its Bombardier 415 aircraft in assistance,” said Michel Bourgeois, president, Bombardier Amphibious Aircraft.
“The Bombardier 415 aircraft is clearly the backbone of our firefighting operations,” said Dr. Vincenzo Spaziante, vice-director, Civil Protection of Italy. “It was the most important contribution to the impressive reduction of our average area burned by fire despite demanding climatic conditions and an increase in the number of fires. During the last season our fleet of Bombardier 415 made 25,601 drops for a total of approximately 150 million litres of water suppressant delivered on forest fires.”
A total of 60 Bombardier 415 have been sold to firefighting agencies in Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Ontario and Québec.
In the Mediterranean region, France, Croatia, Italy and Greece currently operate 38 Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft and Spain operates 14 CL-215T turboprop aircraft. Greece and Spain also have 19 CL-215 piston aircraft in service.
The Bombardier 415 has a maximum speed of 375 km/h (235 mph) and in an average mission of 11 kilometres (six nautical miles) distance from water to fire, it can complete nine drops within an hour, delivering 55,260 litres (14,600 U.S. gallons) of fire suppressant.
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2003 were $21.2 billion Cdn and its shares are traded on the Toronto, Brussels and Frankfurt stock exchanges (BBD, BOM and BBDd.F). News and information are available at www.bombardier.com.
N.B. Fiscal year 2002-03 revenues have been restated following the sale of the recreational products business.
* Trademark of Bombardier Inc.
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