As wildfires continue to rage across the province a Port Alberni resident is trying to get the government to call up the Martin Mars.
Coulson Aviation didn’t get a contract for the massive, amphibious water bomber this season.
Chris Alemany, who’s not affiliated with the company, says the Mars has one strength that smaller firefighting aircraft don’t have.
Alemany’s petition is on change.dot.org, and the signature count has been growing quickly.
He says Wayne Coulson of Coulson Aviation is aware of the petition. And Alemany isn’t the first to urge the province to change its mind on a contract for the company. In September Port Alberni managed to get delegates at the Union of BC Municipalities to back a resolution on it.
In April Coulson told Coast FM that the “Hawaii Mars” will stay grounded while company decides whether to keep it in the fleet, and the company is focused on getting their other Martin Mars, “Philippine”, ready for its trip to a museum in Florida as part of a deal that’s been in the works for the past few years.
He also said the company isn’t expecting a financial hit from not getting a contract this fire season, pointing out that operating the Mars as a water bomber was “revenue neutral”.
(With files from Corus Radio Network)