Clavijo corrects the president of the Tenerife Cabildo and affirms that the Canary Islands need a helicopter base

The president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, assured this Monday that the Islands need a base of helicopters high ability to fight fires such as Tenerife (that remains uncontrolled), thus correcting the president of the Tenerife Cabildo, Rosa Dávila, who a few days ago requested a permanent seaplane base in our Archipelago.

The Cabildo of Tenerife requests a seaplane base despite the fact that experts advise helicopters and more prevention

The Cabildo of Tenerife requests a seaplane base despite the fact that experts advise helicopters and more prevention


In statements to Cope Canarias collected by EFE, Clavijo has advocated a base with helicopters like the Kamov, with a cargo capacity of up to 4,500 liters, due to a question of orography. He explained that the “advantage” of helicopters is that they work “like a joystick”, that is, they throw water at the necessary point with much greater precision.

In contrast, he has assured that seaplanes have to throw water from “a great height and with the heat when it falls it loses power.” On the other hand, he has highlighted that the seaplanes “were very useful for cooling” during the Tenerife fire, but “given a choice”, given that “the resources are not infinite”, he would opt for those helicopters with a high load capacity. .

These statements come after Dávila assured on August 31, in the presence of the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, that the Islands need a permanent base for seaplanes, since “they should not give it even an hour’s head start.” to a fire since “nine hours of travel is excessive.” “This is how we will formally transfer it to the Government of Spain,” he concluded.

The reality is that different experts have advised that if a base is built on the Islands, it should be based on helicopters. The arguments in favor are that they can load water from nearby farms, small reservoirs, water ponds and even private swimming pools if necessary, so the discharge frequency, although smaller, is higher.

In contrast, seaplanes have to carry out loading in the calm waters of a port area, not in the open sea to avoid waves, so wherever the fire is, they must then fly to a port of considerable size to be able to carry out the loading. low flight.

Seaplanes, therefore, are ideal means of controlling fires on flat terrain and on ridges, where they can descend and ascend in flight without mountains or slopes nearby. This is not the case of the Canary Islands, where one of its main characteristics is its important relief. This is precisely one of the reasons for preferring the use of helicopters to seaplanes.

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