Gila National Forest
An air tanker operation will move in at Colorado Springs Airport.
After losing out earlier this year on the state's Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting
, which chose Rifle instead, Colorado Springs has something to crow about.
The Springs Airport
has been selected by Global SuperTanker Services
, LLC, as its operating base for the "world’s largest firefighting tanker," the company announced on Wednesday.
From the release:
Today, the company announced the completion of a definitive agreement to convert and operate Boeing 747-400 aircraft to be the fastest, longest-range, and most effective aerial firefighting platform in the world.
President, Jim Wheeler stated, “The Colorado Springs airport is centrally located and has the ideal support infrastructure to allow immediate response to virtually any national or global emergency.”
“The Global SuperTanker is a firefighting resource that can be called upon to help communities across our country and around the world. Having a critical resource like this in Colorado Springs will spotlight our beautiful City and enable us to position ourselves on the leading edge of aerial firefighting,” said Colorado Springs Fire Chief, Christopher P. Riley.
Bret Waters, Director of the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management, stated “Strong partnership is a key component to community emergency preparedness. We welcome the employees of Global SuperTanker and the tremendous capability they bring to our region.”
The company's news release:
Global SuperTanker Services, LLC, who today announced their project to build the world’s largest aerial firefighting tanker on a 747-400 platform, also announced plans to make Colorado Springs the operating base for the SuperTanker.
Global SuperTankers President Jim Wheeler stated, “The Colorado Springs airport is centrally located and has the ideal support infrastructure to allow immediate response to virtually any national or global emergency.” He further noted that “The principal factor in our decision has been the exceptional support of Mayor John Suthers, Airport Director Dan Gallagher and their teams, who have worked closely with us in finalizing our search for the SuperTanker base. We look forward to being an active part of the Colorado Spring’s community. We also believe Colorado Springs will benefit by not only having the SuperTanker firefighting presence, but will gain new jobs and services as a result.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers stated, “Our community has seen, firsthand, the importance of aerial firefighting during the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires. We are fortunate to welcome Global SuperTanker employees and services to our city and our airport.”
“The selection of Colorado Springs Airport as Global SuperTanker's operating base further demonstrates the Airport's potential for job creation and community benefit. The entire Airport community welcomes them and we look forward to growing our partnership,” stated Airport Aviation Director, Dan Gallagher.