S-70i makes first flight in Poland. Photo from file.
In December, a judge officially gave California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) permission to modernize its fleet with new Sikorsky S-70is. However, a new report surfaced Tuesday indicating that the Cal Fire acquisition process has become complicated.
According to the new report, published by The Sacramento Bee, California’s latest state administrative budget request adds potentially more than $100 million to the total cost of the 12 new helicopters Cal Fire plans to purchase within the next few years.
California’s Legislative Analyst Office has recommended that legislators seek out more information about alternatives. That has lead to the California state Senate’s budget committee discussion about the helicopter acquisition that was scheduled to occur this week.