Bombardier Aerospace today announced that the Italian Government has purchased one Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft for its firefighting operations. The contract with Italy also includes the purchase of kits to enhance the aircraft with an autopilot, nose radar and flight data recorder.
"Our fleet of 16 Bombardier 415 aircraft remains the backbone of our firefighting operations. The Bombardier 415 have been the most important contributors to the improvement of our firefighting efforts, helping us reach our goal to reduce the average areas burned by fire. During the first four months of 2005, two of the Italian Bombardier 415 aircraft flew a total of 178 relief missions to those areas of Sri Lanka affected by the tsunami of December 26th, 2004, delivering over 250,000 kg of aid supplies," said Dr. Vincenzo Spaziante, Vice-director, Civil Protection Department of Italy.
"The Bombardier 415 aircraft has consistently demonstrated its unique capabilities by operating effectively in the rugged and demanding conditions of the Italian terrain. In past seasons, Italy also supported the firefighting efforts of its neighboring countries. Its specialized capabilities were key in the humanitarian relief missions following the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka last December," said Michel Bourgeois, President, Bombardier Amphibious Aircraft.
Since entering service with the Italian Civil Protection Department in the spring of 1995, the Bombardier 415 fleet has accumulated over 30,400 flight hours. A total of 62 Bombardier 415 aircraft 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 40 Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft and Spain operates 14 CL-215T turboprop aircraft. Also 27 CL-215 piston aircraft are in service fighting fires in Europe.
The Bombardier 415 aircraft has a maximum speed of 375 km/h (235 mph) and in an average mission of 11 kilometers (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, 2005 were $15.8 billion US and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). News and information are available at www.bombardier.com
Bombardier, Bombardier 415 and CL-215 are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.