A new state-of-the-art helicopter will boost the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s (NPWS) capacity to prepare for and defend against bushfires this summer.
The $5.6 million Airbus H125 helicopter joins four similar aircraft operated by the NPWS air wing known as ParkAir. Its features include:
- customised avionics
- radios, and
- specialised operational and safety equipment.
The helicopter will also be used to support hazard reduction burns, along with other applications such as pest management, baiting and weed spraying, wildlife surveys, and observation and construction work.
Minister for the Environment Matt Kean welcomed the arrival of the new aircraft, which expands the capability of NPWS to manage hazard reduction activities and bushfire response.
“We have increased the firefighting capacity of NPWS to record levels and this aircraft will be critical in supporting those frontline NPWS staff to keep us safe and manage an ever-increasing parks network,” Mr Kean said.
“It is critical NPWS has all of the tools it needs to adequately manage the parks estate and an elevated risk of bushfire.”