Get compliant for the upcoming Australian fire season 

The National Aerial Fire Fighting Centre, NAFC, are increasingly looking for contractors to collect and distribute quality tracking and event data. Here's a look at NAFC's recommendations for tracking devices going forward.

Tracking as a result of 2009 bushfires

With multiple agencies and organisations throughout Australia involved in managing the ever-present threat of bushfires, the ability to share a common view of a rapidly unfolding emergency situation is essential to a well-formed response. Since 2009, TracPlus has provided NAFC with a cost-effective and proven solution to this problem.

TracPlus' solution allows each operator to keep their existing tracking service provider, keep their preferred tracking equipment, and easily share their tracking data with NAFC and other agencies when operating on firefighting contracts. However, the tracking devices that NAFC recommend for contracts is tightening.

The future of tracking your aircraft for firefighting 

Since 2009, the information required from aerial firefighting has become more litigious. NAFC is increasingly looking for contractors to collect and distribute quality tracking and event data. 

Andrew Matthews, Manager at NAFC, suggests operators look to modern trackers, as the data that NAFC is looking to acquire will increase in future. In time, modern and compliant tracking devices will be required to capture data securely and accurately for billing purposes and flight operations returns. 

"In future, we fully expect to require tracking solutions to meet the ‘firebombing event’ requirements on any aircraft lifting 1000 litres or more – with a tank or a bucket," says Andrew Matthews. 

NAFC except these requirements to increase, rolling out what will become mandatory flight and event data over time.

  State CWN



NAFC CWN Type 1 Helicopters

NAFC Full Service

Position Reports
Flight Events          
Engine On / Off  
Take Off / Landing  
Firebombing Events          
Drop Volume      

Quality of trackers

NAFC is asking operators to ensure their tracking device can detect flight and firebombing events. Poor quality trackers, as deemed by NAFC, will result in more work for pilots and operators, more opportunities for errors, inaccurate flight and engine time recording and inaccurate firebombing drops, volumes and data.  

These errors from non compliant and antiquated tracking devices may result in your invoices being rejected. 

Modern trackers can capture quality data. Most data is also prefilled, meaning less manual work for pilots and operators. 

What is a modern and compliant tracking device?

Tracking devices with interfaces to wire into aircraft sensors, tanks and buckets:

The following devices sold by TracPlus have been approved by NAFC:


Fully tested to DO160G standards, the RockAIR offers high-resolution tracking in both satellite and cellular, two-way messaging and user-defined forms across both satellite and cellular networks. The RockAIR is an affordable device and offers further savings for customers who regularly fly in cellular coverage. 

Trotter Datavault

DataVault is an open, high-performance data acquisition, telemetry, logging, tracking, and control solution.

Flightcell DZMx

The world’s smallest all-in-one solution for global voice, data, messaging and flight tracking. The DZMx offers dual tracking and reliable voice services.

south pacific heli rockair 2

What is a non-compliant tracking device?

NAFC have noted that the below devices will not be compliant with future requirements. 

Trackers with no interface:

Spidertracks S3-S8
NAL Research 9601/9602
Shout Nano/TS  

Required Interfaces

Here is the required data for the upcoming aerial firefighting season.

  Fixed Wing Rotary
Engine On / Off On / Off
Flight Take off / Landing Take off / Landing

Fill - Volume

Door - Open / Close

Fill - Volume

Door Open / Close

(Drop Start / Drop Stop)


Fill - Volume

Door Open / Close

(Drop Start / Drop Stop)

What do you need to do?

To ensure you're prepared for upcoming bushfire seasons, you will need to look ahead to a modern and compliant tracker. As time goes on, operators will need to provide more accurate tracking and event data. If you're looking to upgrade your tracking unit, make sure you're aware of what the future will hold.

TracPlus is an approved tracking provider for all aerial firefighting contracts in Australia. We've equipped hundreds of businesses with tracking for firefighting purposes across the globe.

aerial firefighting australia

"TracPlus has changed the reporting of intelligence completely. It registers the exact location of where we pick up water, and how many litres we’re picking up. It’s tracking us to and from the fire. That way, the command centre can see how effective we are as it determines what our turn around times are."
— Ray Cronin, Kestrel Aviation

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Don’t have a compliant device? We can help!

We've equipped hundreds of businesses with tracking for firefighting purposes across the globe. We can help ensure you have the correct equipment to do your work safely and cost-effectively.

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