Neptune Aviation Receives USFS Contract for 2024 Wildfire Season

May 23, 2024
Neptune’s entire fleet now under exclusive-use contracts to help protect property and save lives from wildfire

Missoula, MT – 23 May 2024 – Neptune Aviation Services, a leader in aerial firefighting and aviation services, was awarded a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) by the United States Forest Service (USFS) with task orders for the three BAe 146 aircraft they had available for the 2024 wildfire season. All three task orders are for exclusive use and include a base year with four 1-year options along with 160-day guaranteed Mandatory Availability Periods (MAP). With this award and their existing contracts, Neptune’s entire fleet of nine airtankers are committed to exclusive-use contracts.

“All of our BAe 146 aircraft are strategically deployed under contract in key wildfire-prone regions, including California and Colorado, ensuring nationwide coverage and rapid response capabilities,” says Jennifer Draughon, President of Neptune Aviation. “We are proud to support wildland firefighting efforts across the country and we are grateful to everyone at Neptune for helping us to secure this contract. Their commitment to excellence has solidified Neptune as a leader in aerial firefighting.”

Neptune’s fleet of BAe 146 airtankers is ideally suited for aerial wildland firefighting. These aircraft offer a combination of slow flight characteristics, high cruising speed, and outstanding maneuverability. They have a stellar record of operational safety and excellent field performance, and do not require special ground support, allowing Neptune to operate out of airfields with minimal assistance. Each aircraft can be loaded with 3,000 gallons of fire retardant or water in as little as six minutes.

The aircraft reserved through this contract have already started their MAP. The first commenced on Tuesday, May 21, while the other two are scheduled to begin within the week.

For more information about Neptune Aviation Services and its airtanker operations, visit


About Neptune Aviation Services

Neptune Aviation Services is based in Missoula, Montana. Neptune serves an expanding customer base offering aircraft maintenance, aircraft management, avionics, nondestructive testing, machine shop services, training, inspections and certifications, and fixed-base operations. As the primary provider of aerial firefighting services to the United States Forest Service for more than 30 years, Neptune Aviation is known for its aviation industry experience, expertise, and reliability.

Neptune Aviation employs more than 220 dedicated, hard-working, and talented individuals. For more information, visit

About the Author News

Content curated and written by Firehouse editorial staff, including Susan Nicol, Steven Shaw, Peter Matthews, Ryan Baker and Rich Dzierwa.

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