The last fire season counted on a fleet of nine aircrafts in Comunitat Valenciana, Between pilots, ground support and mechanics, the company’s technical team consists of more than 100 people during the season.
Spanish Avialsa’s Air Tractors participated in over 180 fires during the last fire season in the Valencia region. Moreover, they flew over 600 hours and more than 850 loads.
The fire season started July 1 and ended September 30. During this time, seven AT-802Fs and two AT-802 Fire Boss aircraft were positioned in the different bases of Siete Aguas, Enguera, Castellón and Mutxamel.
The aircraft flew nearly non-stop. “July was hard on us. We experienced large fires, but our team acted right away and was very efficient,” said Lucio Conejos responsible for ground operations of Avialsa.
One of the most important fires of the season, Montán (Castellon), was worked from Avialsa airport in Viver, a base that Avialsa lets Generalitat Valenciana use when the proximity of the base to the fire requires it.
Conejos stated that in May, “Thanks to the quick response of the Viver base and the effective rotation of the aircraft, we were able to extinguish a fire in Segorbe (Spain) that would have been larger if we would have had to reload the aircraft elsewhere.
The result would have been a larger number of hectares burned. Gradually, from September 30 to October 31, the aircraft began to head back to their base at the Manises Airport, until only three aircraft were left.
These were based in each province for the rest of the year. “This fact is important because in our community, during winter time, we still experience fires, like the one that burned the Las Palmas desert of Castellón some years ago”, commented Conejos.
At the Manises Airport, Avialsa has a hangar to perform aircraft maintenance to comply with the regulatory requirements. Furthermore, during wintertime, Avialsa performs maintenance on runways and aircraft loading equipment; preparing to be ready to go at anytime.
The Generalitat de Catalunya also hires Avialsa’s aircraft to fly their fire season. This year they contracted four aircraft for bases Sabadell and Igualada. Additionally, the governments of France and Portugal hired the services of Avialsa for three AT-802 Air Tractors for operations in France and six in Portugal.
Avialsa is a 100% Valencian company that has been offering aerial services since 1965, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. The company recently opened its new facilities, located in the technological park of Paterna where more than 100 people are employed full time, adding more during the fire season.
In 1995, the company bought its first Air Tractor and today Avialsa is an Air Tractor dealer for Europe and North Africa specializing in the sale of AT-802F and AT-802 Fire Boss aircraft especially designed for aerial firefighting. Cutlines: Perimeter of fire halted with retardant at the Segorbe Fire Incendio Montán. Air Tractor at Viver: aircraft firefighting the fire of Montán.