The next piece of the Australian Government’s preparations for Australia’s 2023-24 Summer has been unveiled, with the deployment of the National Large Air Tanker to fight fires across the country.

The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) Large Air Tanker, which will be prepositioned across Australia, based on the areas of highest risk or concern, is a Boeing 737 operated by aerial firefighting specialists which can carry and drop up to 15,000 litres of retardant or water. 

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said being better prepared during times of increased disaster risk is of the upmost importance to the Australian Government.

“We all know the devastation that bushfires can wreak on communities across the country, Our Government is committed to doing everything in our power to protect Australians in rural, regional and urban areas. The deployment of this Large Air Tanker is yet another step we have taken to ensure our firefighting capabilities are strong. This asset will be invaluable in protecting lives and property, halting the spread of fires, and supporting firefighting efforts on the ground, especially in difficult-to-reach areas of the country. This includes the largest ever fleet of aerial firefighting assets, improved warning alerts, better coordination between states and territories and more investment in disaster resilience and mitigation.”
Minister Watt said. 

The Commonwealth funded NAFC Large Air Tanker will be in Australia for the high risk weather season and is able to deploy wherever the need is greatest based on risk. The Australian Government funds $31 million dollars annually to the NAFC, through the National Aerial Firefighting Program, to coordinate a fleet of highly specialized firefighting aircraft.