Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel L. Manzello


  • Ann SuterEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51727-8_210-1



Airtankers, or aerial delivery systems, are aircraft used to deliver firefighting chemicals including retardant, water, water enhancers, wetting agents, and foams on or in front of the fire to help slow rate of spread, inhibit flaming combustion, and reduce flame length. Rotary-wing airtankers are also called helitankers. The Interagency Airtanker Board (IAB) is the approving authority for airtankers in the United States. The IAB is an active interagency, National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) board under the direction of the National Interagency Aviation Committee. The IAB is established to uphold safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of airtankers through the evaluation and approval of aerial delivery systems. An aerial delivery system is defined as the aircraft plus the tank system.


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  1. Interagency Airtanker Board (IAB) (2013) 2013 Procedures and criteria. https://www.nwcg.gov/sites/default/files/committee/docs/iab-procedures-criteria.pdf (PDF). Retrieved 17 Apr 19
  2. Lovellette G (2004) How to conduct drop tests of aerial retardant delivery systems 0457–2813–MTDC. Technology and Development Program, USDA Forest Service, MissoulaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Technology and Development ProgramUSDA Forest ServiceMissoulaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sara McAllister
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServiceRMRS Missoula Fire Sciences LaboratoryMissoulaUSA