Douglas County signs 'exclusive use' deal with firefighting helicopter

A Trans Aero helicopter will be based in county for foreseeable future

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Douglas County has entered into an “exclusive use” contract with the Loveland-based company Trans Aero LTD, which operates wildfire-fighting helicopters, in order to base one Trans Aero helicopter in the county for the foreseeable future, a county spokeswoman said.

The helicopter was scheduled to land at noon on June 18 and will remain at the Douglas County Public Works Operations Center, near Titan Road and Moore Road, for a cost of $4,600 a day. An exact end date of the contract is to be determined. Should the helicopter respond to any incidents, there would be an additional hourly fee of $1,800.

The county entered the contract to replace the temporary absence of one of its other air support contracts, Castle Rock-based Rampart Helicopter Services. Rampart is unable to respond to wildfires in Douglas County while the company works on other contracts through early July, the spokeswoman said.

The county issued a release to 2,600 Nextdoor subscribers in Chatfield, Cherokee Ridge Estates, Lambert Ranch, Louviers, Sedalia, Roxborough, along Santa Fe Boulevard and Sunshine Acres informing them of the Trans Aero helicopter's presence.

The pad where the helicopter is based was built and zoned for such uses in 2016.

The county already signed a “call-as-needed” contract with Trans Aero in March for the 2018 wildland fire season, which included the option of placing Trans Aero on exclusive use. That contract was not to exceed $200,000 this year.

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