USA — The United States Forest Service (USFS) is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to obtain information to assist in the potential efforts to further diversify its aerial firefighting fleet.
The USFS may issue an RFP in late 2011, for two to eight (2-8) fixed-wing waterscooper aircraft. The RFP would include contract requirements similar to the existing Large Airtanker contract. The proposed aircraft would be a national resource and may be deployed throughout the U.S. Previous experience indicates that waterscoopers are utilized more like Large Helicopters in firefighting use. As a result operating locations may or may not differ from the current Large Airtanker Bases. Any/all future contracts will require documentation reflecting a fully implemented and comprehensive aviation Safety Management System (SMS), with elements for Policy, Risk Assessment, Safety Promotion/Training, and Quality Assurance.
The USFS is requesting Rough Order Magnitude (ROM) cost estimates, corporate technical information, and general comments on structuring a potential Request for Proposal (RFP) for aerial firefighting fixed-wing waterscooper aircraft. Turboprop aircraft are preferred for this application, however other engine configurations may be considered.
Aircraft Minimum Requirements Proposed fixed-wing water scoopers are expected to meet the following target specifications:
Capable of carrying a minimum of 1400 gallons up to a maximum of 4000 gallons of water with 2.5 hours fuel at cruise power. Have a cruise speed of 150 knots while loaded and powered by turboprop engines however other engines types may be considered Have been 14 CFR Part 25 Type Certificated in the Standard or Restricted Category by the FAA for the Water Scooping Firefighting mission Have current OEM engineering and maintenance support for the Water Scooping Firefighting mission Have an OEM created, FAA approved, maintenance / inspection program, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs) and Airworthiness Limitations Section developed using MSG-3 process guidelines for the baseline and Water Scooper Firefighting mission and be in compliance with all inspections, inspection intervals and life limits Have FAA approval for all modifications and alterations of the aircraft Equipped with an Operational Loads Monitoring System (OLM) that has been accepted by the US Forest Service. Be approved by the Interagency Airtanker Board (IAB) as a waterscooper.
This RFI is for planning purposes only and shall not be construed as an RFP or as a decision or obligation on the part of the Government to acquire any products or services. The Government will not reimburse respondents for any costs incurred in preparation of a response to this notice.
The USFS will not award a contract before inspecting and approving the aircraft for use as a waterscooper. Evaluation and approval requires that proposals meet both FS airworthiness standards and the Interagency Airtanker Board (IAB) requirements. Airworthiness requirements are substantial and are defined in, Forest Service Mission Airworthiness Assurance Guide, a copy of this document is attached to this RFI. Waterscoopers shall use a separate set of IAB criteria than Large Airtankers. “Procedures and Criteria for the Interagency Airtanker Board (IAB) can be found at: http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/aviation/fixed_wing/airtankers/iab_procedures/iab_procedures.html
Interested vendors are requested to provide the following Make/ model of available aircraft Number of aircraft that may be offered Daily flight availability or standby costs Hourly flight rate costs (submit dry rate for turboprop and jet powered aircraft or wet rate only if offering reciprocating engine aircraft). Estimates shall be based on 150 days of availability and an average of 300 flight hours per aircraft. The flight hours are an estimate and are not a guarantee.
Respondents must provide a statement addressing each of the requirements identified in this announcement and their technical capabilities. Additionally interested vendors are also requested to provide the following company information:
1. Company Name, point of contact including phone number, physical and e-mail address. 2. Size status and/or SBA certification program of your firm. 3. DUNS number for your firm. The above information shall be provided via email or fax to the following by close of business September 7, 2011
Mr. Todd Novinger U.S. Forest Service Contracting Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 208-387-5385 Phone: 208-287-5272