Current Fleet

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources aviation services program is charged with meeting the needs of the Ministry for specialized aviation services, and to provide or arrange non-scheduled air transportation for the Ontario Government. To meet these objectives, MNR operates a modern fleet of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. Although much of the flying is in support of forest fire management, the air fleet also flies in support of a number of specialty provincial resource management programs.


Conversion to turbine-powered aircraft began in the mid 60's with the purchase of the de Havilland Turbo Beaver and Twin Otter types. This new fleet adopted the integral float water-bombing system for safer and more efficient aerial fire suppression.


In January of 2000 the Ministry completed the replacement of its aging fleet of nine CL-215 piston-powered waterbombers with the new turbine-powered Canadair CL-415. This faster, more efficient and reliable aircraft is an overall improvement in terms of handling, maintenance and performance. It can scoop more than six tonnes of water (6,130 litres) in 12 seconds and return to a fire fully loaded at 325 km/h. This amphibious tanker, like its predecessor, is the only aircraft in the world designed specifically for aerial waterbombing of forest fires. Ontario owns and operates nine CL-415s.


Beginning in 1985, the Province added helicopters to its fleet. Today, the Eurocopter 350-B2s fly over 4,000 hours in support of the Ministry's fire and specialty resource management programs.


The Twin Otters are the MNR's true, all round workhorses. This twin-engined utility aircraft converts from wheels to skis to waterbombing floats for year round service. Introduction of amphibious waterbombing floats in 1996 adds to its continuing flexibility.


Five de Havilland Turbo Beavers are utilized by a number of MNR resource management programs on wheel skis or amphibious floats.


Fire suppression is only one of the many roles the air fleet performs. When not on fire operations or alert, non-scheduled flying service is provided for resource management programs throughout the Province, within the Ministry of Natural Resources, and for other ministries, boards and agencies of the Ontario Government.


Executive Flight Operations, which began in 1951, provides business aircraft to authorized government officials for flights throughout North America. Two nine-passenger King Air 350's are dedicated to this service, with one based at Toronto and the other at Sault Ste. Marie. This latter aircraft is also a backup to the forest fire management program.


MNR's multi-purpose fleet is utilized for wildlife surveys, fish planting, reconnaissance, compliance monitoring (enforcement), wildlife transfers, rabies baiting, mercy flights, aerial photography, remote sensing, forest fire management and just about any task for which it is deemed suitable.