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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Location: Langley BC
|Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:29 pm Post subject: Oh Oh . . . . .
Future of Martin Mars could be decided with UBCM vote, (UBCM is the Union of BC Municipalities)
Plane is largest fixed-wing water bomber in the world but went unused during 2017 wildfire season.Port Alberni city council wants a new deal for an old plane.
The city's leadership has put forward a last-minute resolution at this week's UBCM meeting to ask the province to ink a new 10-year commitment with Coulson Flying Tankers to maintain the Martin Mars water bomber.
"It's an asset that's still here and still usable, and what we're wanting the provincial government to do is to make a definitive statement: are you going to use this or not?" said Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan.
The iconic plane, built in 1946, is the largest fixed-wing water bomber in the world, with a capacity of more than 27,000 litres.
But because of its size, the plane can only land on and scoop up water from about 113 water bodies in B.C., as opposed to the 1,700 water bodies smaller planes can access.
The plane was not used during the record-breaking 2017 wildfire season, but Port Alberni Coun. Chris Alemany says if the province makes a long-term commitment with Coulson to keep the plane as part of the firefighting arsenal, that would enable them to work on the plane to address any shortcomings.
And Ruttan warns that this motion passing could be essential for Coulson keeping the plane at all.
"If [the motion] doesn't pass, it's a really clear message to the owner of the plane that there isn't that kind of support and they can make the decision to scrap it, or not, and move on," he said.
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