New South Wales Rural Fire Service

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
New South Wales Rural Fire Service
English Title:
New South Wales Rural Fire Service
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

Until 1997 the numerous (over 2000) rural firefighting brigades in NSW were coordinated by various committees which went under the names Bush Fire Advisory Committee, Bush Fire Committee, Bush Fire Council/Bush Fire Service etc. On 1 September 1997, a new goverment body, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) was established by an act of Parliament, redefining the world’s largest fire service and building on a century of experience in protecting some of the most fire-prone areas on earth.

Aircraft are an invaluable tool in spotting and tackling fires in remote areas. The RFS owns and has on long-term contract a small fleet of aircraft, which is supplemented each fire season by up to 100 more aircraft and helicopters on short-term contracts.

Key Dates

January 1975 Bush Fire Service created.
1990 Department of Bush Fire Services established.
1 September 1997 NSW Rural Fire Service established.
? First aircraft obtained.
? First helicopter obtained.

Current Status

The NSW RFS aircraft and helicopters are fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

NSW RFS helicopters fly in a red and white colour scheme. The NSW RFS logo appears on the cabin door. Contractor operated aircraft retain their original colour scheme with the addition of N.S.W. RURAL FIRE SERVICE titles. The NSE RFS logo often appears on the fuselage or fin.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

NSW RFS aircraft and helicopters carry Australian civil aircraft registration, e.g. AS350 VH-NFO.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale AS350 Squirrel ? ? 0 Utility
Air Tractor AT-802 ? ? 0 Fire Fighting
Beech Super King Air 200 1 1 0 Surveillance
MBB BK117 1 1 0 Fire Fighting

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Only those aircraft carrying NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE titles are listed.

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS350 Squirrel ? 19?? current France
Air Tractor AT-802 ? ? current contractor
Beech Super King Air 200 1 ? current USA
Bell 212 1 ? ? contractor
Cessna 208 Caravan ? ? ? contractor
MBB BK117 3 1990 current Japan/NSW Police
PZL-Mielec M-18B Dromader ? ? ? contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.


Main Headquarters

NSW Rural Fire Service Headquarters, 15 Carter Street, Lidcombe NSW 2141.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

To be added.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information


None known.


Bush Fire Bulletin.


NSW Rural Fire Service
wikipedia: New South Wales Rural Fire Service
NSW Rural Fire Service

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.


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