Australia’s largest firefighting helicopter takes off

Australia’s largest firefighting helicopter takes off

25-Nov-2022 Source: NSW Ports

A CH-47D Chinook helicopter that will join the state’s firefighting arsenal for the upcoming bushfire season arrived at Port Botany’s Patrick Terminals this week.

The Coulson Aviation chopper arrived at NSW’s premier port on board the Synergy Busan from the US yesterday morning. Engineers constructed the water-bombing aircraft on the terminal before it launched from the dock, bound for Bankstown Airport.

NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said the arrival demonstrated the critical role Port Botany plays in supporting the needs of the people and businesses of NSW.

“Port Botany is a key international trade gateway that manages the state’s container trade, bringing in essential imports from across the globe to support NSW communities,” she said.

“The port’s quality infrastructure and operations makes it well equipped to manage all manner of goods.

“We are proud to play a role in delivering vital firefighting equipment that will help our dedicated emergency services keep communities safe – it was certainly a spectacular sight to see the chopper lifting off from Patrick Terminals.”

Patrick Terminals CEO Michael Jovicic said managing the Chinook chopper shipment demonstrated the business’ capacity and versatility to manage critical imports.

“Patrick Terminals has the largest ship-to-shore cranes in Australia and has invested significantly in equipment, infrastructure and technology to efficiently manage the import of vast goods for the people and business of NSW each day,” he said.

“Our terminal staff, using market-leading equipment, did an excellent job servicing the Synergy Busan and helping to facilitate the aircraft’s swift build on our berth.”

“The aircraft crew certainly put on a show for our staff and the precinct – it’s not every day we have a chopper lifting off from our terminal.”

The Chinook helicopter can carry up to 11,000 litres of water, making it the largest capacity firefighting helicopter in Australia.

The aircraft has an internal tank to support its water-bombing efforts; however, this can also be removed to support flood response operations as well.

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