Babcock, the engineering services company, has been awarded a new 10-year contract for aerial firefighting by the Government of Manitoba, Canada. This is the first firefighting work the Group has won outside of Europe and marks the continuing successful international expansion of Babcock’s aerial emergency services business.
The Wildfire Suppression Services contract, awarded by the Government of Manitoba, is worth around £100 million (CAD$170 million) and will begin in April 2019. Babcock will manage, maintain and operate Manitoba’s fleet of seven firefighting fixed-wing Canadair water-bomber amphibious aircraft, supported by three Babcock Twin Commander aircraft. The Group has a decades-long track record of successfully operating and maintaining a fleet of 19 Canadair firefighting aircraft for the Italian Government. The operations will cover the entire province, helping to protect communities across an area twice the size of the UK.
Babcock Chief Executive Archie Bethel said:
“This marks our first aviation emergency services contract in Canada, and we are delighted to be trusted to deliver this critical service. We have over 30 years’ experience of aerial firefighting, and this new contract positions us well for any future opportunities in the North American market. We look forward to building on the excellent reputation Babcock has achieved in Canada’s marine sector with this new opportunity to serve the communities of Manitoba from the air.”
The agreement to provide vital support to the Government of Manitoba represents the Group’s first step in accessing the large market for aerial emergency services in the North American continent. The total North American addressable market for aerial firefighting is estimated to be around £1.4 billion, including around £1.1 billion in the United States which is accessible to companies operating in Canada. It also provides a platform for the Group to pursue aerial emergency medical service opportunities in Canada, which represents a further addressable market of over £300 million.