Second Large Air Tanker arrives in Western Australia
Boeing 737 Fireliner to support firefighting efforts in the upcoming bushfire season
The Boeing 737 Fireliner LAT, nicknamed Phoenix, will be based at Busselton-Margaret River Airport, alongside a second Large Air Tanker (LAT) – a C130 Hercules being operated by Coulson Aviation, under a contract awarded earlier this month.
It weighs more than 62,000kg, has a loaded cruising speed of nearly 800kph and can carry 15,000 litres of fire suppressants.
The aircraft was secured through the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council’s National Resource Sharing Centre. It previously served in Western Australia (WA) during the 2021-2022 bushfire season.
The Fireliner’s operational costs for the duration of its deployment will be funded by the WA state government. While the aircraft is expected to remain in-state throughout the bushfire season, it could also be used to respond to major incidents in other states if necessary.
The Fireliner completes the line-up of WA’s entire aerial firefighting fleet – comprising 36 rotary and fixed-wing suppression, supervision and aerial intelligence aircraft. It is jointly managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservations and Attractions.
Since its arrival, both the Fireliner and C130 Hercules have already provided ‘vital’ support in tackling a bushfire near Cervantes and Jurien Bay.