ABBOTSFORD –Conair aerial firefighters got a boost to their wildfire relief efforts for summer 2016 with two announcements Friday. Conair’s talented pilots, who are members of IUOE Local 115, will be flying a former passenger jet that engineers have converted into an operational tanker. The plane includes a superior fire retardant delivery system developed in BC and capability to carry and release over 11,000 litres. The RJ85 plane will be par t of BC’s firefighting fleet as a trial during this year’s fire season.
Additionally, Conair signed a memorandum of understanding with Canadian Aviation Electronics (CAE) Inc. to create a wildfire training and simulation centre in BC. “For pilots who risk their lives keeping our communities safe, it’s great news they can access military grade training right here in the Lower Mainland,” says IUOE Local 115 Business Manager Brian Cochrane. Currently, Switzerland is the only place offering specialized training, so this facility has the potential to make skills upgrading more accessible for IUOE Local 115 pilots.