Coulson Group relocates fire tanker to Reno airport
Possible expansion of its U.S. fleet of firefighting aircraft led Coulson Group of Companies to move its operations to the newly opened Atlantic Aviation hangar at Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Coulson Chief Operating Officer Jim Meeser says.
Coulson Group, a Canadian firm, currently has just one tanker in the U.S., a C-130 Hercules that can hold up to 3,500 gallons of water or fire retardant. But the company is working with the U.S. Forest Service, Coast Guard and Air Force to procure additional C-130 aircraft, Meeser says. Seven surplus craft are slated to be turned into privately owned tankers.
Coulson relocated its tanker from Sacramento on April 15. The decision to move the aircraft from northern California to Nevada was made in just a few weeks time, Meeser says. Coulson Group is contracted by the Forest Service and has five-year options that could allow for significant growth in the United States.
“That contact gives us the opportunity, at the government’s request, to grow our fleet, and we are very, very anxious to do that,” Meeser says. “That is a key part of why we entertained moving our base to a very hospitable business environment.”
Support for the aircraft is expected to employ between 10 and 20 people. Meeser says.
“We are happy to be at Atlantic Aviation, and we think there is much more business to be had here,” Meeser says. “We are looking forward to working out of here.”
Bryan Wachter of the Retail Association of Nevada said his organization is “very concerned about disruptions to the supply chain.”