April 9, 2020

Canadian Company Global Leader in Aerial Firefighting


Coulson Aviation USA, the American subsidiary of a family-owned and run Canadian company, has won a multi-year contract from the U.S. forestry service for the provision of the first Boeing 737 ‘FireLiner’.

“This firefighting repurposed Boeing 737 was designed, manufactured and had the installation of the tanking system done in house, which is a testament to the creativity of our teams led by Britt Coulson,” said Coulson Group CEO (and father) Wayne Coulson.

The Port Alberni, British Columbia-based group was founded in 1960 by Wayne Coulson’s father Cliff initially as a logging company. Coulson Aviation was formed in 1985 while continuing its logging activities. Coulson Aviation USA was founded in 1990 to provide aerial fire suppression aircraft in the U.S. market. Other aviation-related companies were formed in the ensuing years. One of them was Coulson Flying Tankers which, in 2007, acquired the two remaining operational Martin Mars flying boats, which once served the U.S. Navy during the Second World War. They had earlier been converted in B.C. by their previous owners into water bombers and were used for aerial fire suppression in the province and in western U.S. states.

Coulson also operates in Chile and in Australia, where it participated in that country’s recent news-making fire season. The Coulson Group’s global fleet now includes, in addition to the Boeing 737 and C-130 Hercules airplanes, Chinook, Blackhawk and Sikorski helicopters. The Martin Mars are no longer operational.

Photo credits: Coulson Group