a civil security union calls for more planes and pilots

In Gironde, security is fighting to fix two devastating forest fires which have destroyed nearly 11,000 hectares of forest and vegetation since Tuesday.

A union of civil aviation pilots, fighting Forest fires: new evacuations in Gironde, nearly 11,000 hectares ravaged since Tuesday, asked for more planes and personnel available on Sunday, Civil Security recognizing a situation “tensebut emphasizing the future increase in material and human resources.

«At the time I’m talking to you, we don’t have the planes we should have“, told AFP Christophe Govillot, spokesperson for the National Union of Civil Aeronautics Flight Crew (Snpnac) who “don’t want to argue, just work” in order to “to help our firefighter friends in the field“. In Gironde, the latter were still battling on Sunday to fix two devastating forest fires which destroyed nearly 11,000 hectares of forest and vegetation.

12 Canadair for Civil Security

Based in Nîmes, the Civil Security air fleet has 12 Canadair, 6 Dash – a 7th will be operational in August, an 8th in 2023 – and 3 Beechcraft, according to Alexandre Jouassard, spokesman for Civil Security who underlines “increasing our air fleet resources“. But for Christophe Govillot, a third of each type of aircraft was not usable this weekend due to maintenance operations. “It’s not satisfying“, he judges.

«It is essential to immobilize a device for 4-5 hours to carry out these checks“, answers Alexandre Jouassard who underlines that “the more you drop (water), the more your machine is used“. For Christophe Govillot, mechanics are not “not enough people to do all the repairs, there are not enough spare partsand the private service provider responsible for maintenance, Sabena Technics,is not up to par». «A plane has been out of engine for a month» et «repairs that should take 2-3 hours take 5 or 6 and are not very successful, with planes breaking down several days in a row“, laments the trade unionist.

Another complaint,the current number of pilots is not there: we are 16 captains, we should be 22», Estimates Christophe Govillot. The fault of thepolicy pursued by Civil Security for years“, According to him, however judging the training protocol signed in early July “very positive». «To come back to this at this time when everyone is fighting forest fires seems inappropriate to me.», replies Alexandre Jouassard, emphasizing the «exceptional work of the in-flight teams, in very difficult conditions“. The commander recognizes at the same time a “tense operational device». «A little more margin in the future is desirable because we know that we are heading towards an increase in the number of interventions“, adds the spokesperson.