Saturday, December 2, 2017

Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport (KRKS) in running for airtankers

ROCK SPRINGS — The Rock Springs/Sweetwater County Airport could potentially house seven HC-130H aircraft to be used as airtankers to battle fires.

The airport submitted a letter to the U.S. Forest Service about two weeks ago, Airport Manager Devon Brubaker said.

“It’s very, very preliminary at this point,” he said.

If the airport is chosen, it could “result in quite a few jobs” and a lot of growth opportunities for the airport. Plus, it would help support firefighting capabilities in the area, Brubaker said.

The winning location could see an estimated 100 contracted positions open up. Three U.S. Forest Service and five U.S. Coast guard personnel would also be stationed at the base.

Airports in 11 states will be considered — Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming — “due to proximity of the majority of firefighting activity and representative training terrain,” she said.

The next steps for procuring the airtankers will begin in February 2018. It will include conducting a market survey of qualified locations. The site selection will be announced in October 2018.

Original article ➤ http://billingsgazette.com

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