Business Case for Better Program Integration and the safety of Victorians.

Recommending an operating model for Victoria’s Night Fire Aviation Program.

Our client brings Victoria’s climate change, energy, environment, water, forests, planning, local government, and emergency management functions together into a single department. Forest Fire Management (FFM) Victoria and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), together with partner agencies, have been conducting extensive operational aerial night fire suppression trials since the 2018/19 fire season.  These trials provided valuable lessons and insights into the potential value of the Night Fire Aviation Program (NFAP).


At the completion of the trials, it was agreed that options for building a more permanent dedicated NFAP should be explored. Terra Firma was engaged to develop a business case that better integrates the program into the state’s firefighting capability.  


Terra Firma developed a comprehensive business case which covered: 

  1. Findings and themes from stakeholder interviews 
  2. The 6 use cases for the NFAP
  3. A detailed analysis of eligible aircraft (helicopters) 
  4. Determination from fire data of frequency of night services 
  5. 6 operating model options (including benefits and limitations, location selection and budgetary requirements) 
  6. The final model recommendation 
  7. A 5-year financial plan to get the model up and running 
  8. Implementation considerations 
Our Approach

Terra Firma undertook a detailed analysis of the current state, including interviews with 40 managerial and operational stakeholders. We reviewed existing strategies, plans and trial results, and analysed fire data. We researched operations in other states and countries and identified current industry trends. 


The final business case was presented to the Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Management Victoria and Director of Regional Coordination. The business case was approved in 2020.

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