The Argentine Federation of Agroaereal Chambers (Fearca) and the provincial government of Santa Fé signed an agreement last week in Brazil to use agricultural aviation aircraft in firefighting operations.

On Wednesday, December 9th, 2020, the long-awaited signing took place during a day spent exchanging information between all parties involved in Ricciardone, Argentina.

According to the agreement signed, when a wildfire requires aerial assets, the request will be made by the provincial authorities directly to Argentinian agricultural body Fearca. Fearca will then forward the call to the most suitable aerospace company – according to the fire’s distance and available logistics.

According to the president of the Argentine aero-agricultural entity FEARCA, Mauricio Fargioni, the meeting was well received. “Not only because it allows us to organize ourselves to collaborate in the control of fire, which is the main objective, but also because we all grew up with the exchange of experiences and knowledge,” he commented.

PRESENTATIONS AND DEMONSTRATION

Soon after the signing of the agreement, representatives of the Civil Protection Service of Santa Fé delivered a presentation showing the balance of operations against fires this year, also explaining the duties performed by different government agencies operating aerial firefighting missions.

The group then detailed technology used in aerial firefighting operations, reviewed firefighting operations’ command structure and aerial operations.

The day’s program also included a presentation (via web) by businessman Roberto (Peco) Tomassoni, an instructor at the Falconer School, a leading educator in aerial firefighting operations. The meeting closed with practical demonstrations of aircraft showing methods of fire drops from Yebila SA, an agricultural and aerial firefighting company.

With this new agreement in place, Argentina becomes the first country to actively coordinate and include its large fleet of agricultural aircraft in aerial firefighting missions. Despite many years of conversations and lobbying for their use in the United States and Brazil, among other countries, agricultural aircraft have often been overlooked.