Portaloos and shipping containers are a thing of the past for Armidale’s Rural Fire Service volunteers who will now operate out of a state-of-the-art base, opened on Tuesday.
The $800,000 purpose build facility is located at the Armidale Regional Airport and will be the command centre for all aerial operations in the region.
A staff of 17 aviation RFS volunteers will use the facility for both operations and training.
New England RFS airbase manager and aviation brigade captain Brett Wilkinson said the facility was a huge boost for the region.
“It gives us the capability to hit fires quickly and help the ground crews,” he said
For the past three years, a contracted firefighting aircraft has been located in Armidale during the height of the fire season.
The new base now has the capacity to refuel two aircraft at the same time and holds 60,000 liters of fire retardant mix on site.
It is also the first step towards relocating the New England RFS zone headquarters to the airport.
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