Airservices is Australia's air navigation service provider - we provide air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting and air navigation services.

Hot fire training

ARFF_fireAirservices provides Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) services at 26 major domestic and international airports across the country.

ARFF operates in accordance with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standard Rules and Recommended Practices to:

  • conduct operations to rescue persons and property from an aircraft that, as the result of an incident at, or in the vicinity of, an aerodrome, has crashed or caught fire
  • conduct operations to control and extinguish, and to protect persons and property threatened by:
    1. a fire at an aerodrome, whether in an aircraft or elsewhere, or
    2. a fire in the vicinity of an aerodrome that is in, or that started in, an aircraft.

Our people

We are committed to providing a world class service. To achieve this we must be confident our specialised staff can apply their skills when called upon in an emergency.

Rigorous training is critical to ensuring we have the professional capability to respond to a diverse range of airport emergencies.

The regulations require that fully equipped fire fighters and fire vehicles must achieve a response time not exceeding three minutes to the end of each runway in optimum visibility and surface conditions.

A further 60 seconds is allowed to gain 90 per cent control of any situation.

Every time we respond to an airport emergency, time is of the essence.

As part of our program of continuous improvement, an operational objective is to reduce that time to two minutes under the same conditions.

This level of preparedness requires ‘hot fire training’ and involves fire fighters practising their skills in a “mock disaster” at least once every 90 days.

The most visible impact of the exercise is the resulting smoke, so if you’ve observed smoke around an airport in your region, this vital training is probably the cause.

Legislative requirements

The Airports Environment Protection Regulations 1997 (part of the Airports Act 1996) limit the amount of pollution from industrial chimney stacks.

An agreement between the ARFF and the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities monitors the conditions under which hot fire training occurs.

The agreement states ARFF must:

  • provide information to the public about such activities
  • advise key airport tenants of fire training events
  • prevent hot fire training activities during unfavourable weather conditions.

During hot fire training activities ARFF is permitted to exceed stated smoke limits.

Environmental Responsibilities

ARFF is continually monitoring the performance of pollution control systems which ensure that our training activities minimise any damage to the environment.

To minimise the atmospheric impact of the smoke we carefully control the lighting and response to the training fire.

This ensures that the actual burn time is limited to a period rarely exceeding three minutes.

Only clean fuel is used during these training sessions resulting in minimal atmospheric effect.

Sophisticated pollution control systems are in place to separate effluent residue of the fire fighting activity from the unburned fuel, this is captured and reused.

In seeking continual operational improvement we constantly investigate alternative fuel sources for application during such training activities.

Extensive research to ensure minimal impact on our environment continues to be a challenge.

More information

For further details on our hot fire training activities please contact the Environmental Coordinator or your local Fire Station Manager.

ARFF Environmental Coordinator

  • Behzad Emami 02 6268 5031

Fire Station Managers

  • Adelaide 08 8154 4020
  • Alice Springs 08 8958 4720
  • Avalon 03 5282 7020
  • Ayers Rock 08 8956 1920
  • Ballina 07 6618 7720
  • Brisbane 07 3860 3220
  • Broome 08 9194 3320
  • Cairns 07 4042 4920
  • Canberra 02 6243 2120
  • Coffs Harbour 02 6691 7620
  • Coolangatta 07 5590 2720
  • Darwin 08 8920 4820
  • Gladstone 07 4973 5420
  • Hamilton Island 07 4948 5620
  • Hobart 03 62483420
  • Karratha 08 9183 6220
  • Launceston 03 6391 6820
  • Mackay 07 4968 3020
  • Melbourne 03 9286 3120
  • Newman 08 9130 7120
  • Perth 08 9373 9220
  • Port Hedland 08 9158 5920
  • Rockhampton 07 4930 7420
  • Sunshine Coast 07 5458 2920
  • Sydney 02 9556 5520
  • Townsville 07 4759 1820

See also