This Glossary is designed to provide a reference collection of defined terms used in NAFC documentation.

Some Contracts do not contain a ‘defined terms’ section and instead incorporates the terms defined in this Glossary by reference.

Where a document (such as a Contract or Tender document) contains a definition of a term that is different than the definition contained in this Glossary, the definition provided in that document will apply in that document instead.

The terms defined in this Glossary are set out in alphabetical order. This Glossary may be updated from time to time.

Version 2: Updated 16 December 2022


Defined Terms

AAS Platform or Air Attack Platform or Air Attack Supervision Aircraft means an aircraft whose purpose is to supervise the process of managing or controlling a fire or emergency incident utilising airborne resources, including directing other aircraft and any other resources assigned to the fire. The AAS Platform may also undertake mapping, information gathering and other tasks.

Absolute Availability means that during a Service Period the Aircraft providing the Services are required to be immediately available to NAFC and the Members (in contrast to Partial Availability).

Ad Hoc Availability means that the Aircraft contracted will be made available outside the Service Period, under the terms and conditions of the Contract. The Contractor is not obliged to meet an ad hoc dispatch request outside of defined Service Periods. The duration of any ad hoc engagement will be by mutual agreement.

Aerial Firefighting means the operation of an aircraft in support of activities conducted by a Member associated with, the prevention or suppression of fires.

Aerial Work Certificate (AWC) has the same meaning as defined in and legislated by the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (Cth).

AFAC means the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council Limited ACN 060 049 327 in its own capacity, and in its capacity on behalf of each Member in accordance with the RMA.

AGL means Above Ground Level.

Air Attack Supervision means the supervision of the process of managing or controlling a fire utilising airborne resources, including directing other aircraft and any other resources assigned to the fire.  Air Attack Supervision includes training or exercises in Air Attack Supervision.

Airborne Information Gathering (AIG)/Specialist Intelligence Gathering (SIG) means a capability, utilising an Aircraft which is specially equipped for the purpose of collecting and disseminating information about an emergency event from the air.

Aircraft means an aircraft, MFU, (if required), Flight Crew and Crewpersons and other Personnel on board, together with any on board equipment (including communication and surveillance equipment), systems, data or products used by the contractors to perform the Services or undertake the tasks stipulated in the Contract.

Air Operators Certificate (AOC) has the same meaning as defined in and legislated by the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (Cth).

ARENA is the web-based system maintained by AFAC within which organisations operating firefighting aircraft in Australia enter and maintain information regarding their company, aircraft, equipment and crew.

AUET means Aircraft Underwater Escape Training

Available, Available (Limited) and Not Available have the meaning given in a Contract.

Availability Time is applicable in NAFC CWN Contracts and means the time nominated for CWN Services as the time required by the Operators for the Service to be ready to commence a Service Period and to become airborne if Dispatched. This time would normally be set by the Contractor from time to time and notified to Members using ARENA.

Business Day means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday in the relevant state or territory where the Service is being performed as the case may be.

Call When Needed (CWN) means a form of ad-hoc engagement where the Contractor is only committed to provide the Service after they accept a request from a Member to provide the Service.

CASA means the Civil Aviation Safety Authority as created by the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (Cth).

Chief Pilot means a person approved by CASA who has been appointed to control all Flight Crew training and operational matters that affect the safe conduct of the operations authorised by the Contractor’s AOC/AWC, or the Personnel of the Contractor in the equivalent position.  This also includes any person referred to by CASA as Head of Flying Operations.

Commencement Date means the date specified in a Contract as the date for commencement of the Contract.

Commitment is applicable for Partial Availability Services and means that on any day or part thereof during the Service Period, the Aircraft is required to be Available or is otherwise tasked by a person authorised by a Member to Standby or be Dispatched or otherwise conduct operations.

Commitment Charge is applicable for Partial Availability Services and means the Contract Price to be charged by the Contractor, during a Service Period, to place the Aircraft providing the Services in a state of Commitment, i.e. on Standby or be Dispatched or otherwise conduct operations.

Confidential Information means:

a) any technical, scientific, commercial, financial or other information that is of a commercial or sensitive nature and which relates to the business or operations of that party;

b) any information that otherwise is designated by the party as confidential; or

c) any information that is specified in this Contact to be confidential information of a party which is disclosed, made available, communicated, or delivered to either party in connection with the Contract.

but excludes information which:

a) subsequently enters the public domain other than as a result of a breach of this Contract; or

b) either party can demonstrate was in its possession prior to the date of this Contract; or

c) either party can demonstrate was independently developed by them; or

d) was lawfully obtained by either party from another person entitled to disclose such information.

CPI or Consumer Price Index means the Consumer Price Index (All Groups – Weighted average of eight capital cities), as published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and will be based on the cumulative variation in the CPI for the four quarterly results immediately preceding the date of any proposed variation in the Contract Price.

Contract means a contract executed between a Contractor and AFAC and includes any schedules, annexures and NAFC Standards and any Purchase Order issued by a Member to purchase Services and any other document referred to and incorporated into the contract. Without limitation, a contract may be based on a Specimen Contract (for contracts for Fleet services), or a Participation Deed incorporating the MSA (for contracts for CWN services).

Contract Manager means the Contractor’s contact included in ARENA as the Contract Manager from time to time.

Contractor means the party in a Contract which provides the Services to NAFC.  Contractor includes all of its Personnel, subcontractors, successors and assigns.

Contractor IP means any Intellectual Property owned by the Contractor, or licensed to the Contractor by a third party, existing at the commencement of the relevant Contract or created during the Contract Period independently and unrelated to the supply and delivery of the Services.

Contract Period means the total period of time that there is a Contract between NAFC and the Contractor.

Contract Price means, collectively, all fees and charges payable or due to the Contractor as specified in the Contract for performance of the Services under the Contract.

Corporations Act means the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Crewperson means a suitably qualified person capable of supervising and assisting with loading or unloading personnel and equipment from the aircraft with the engine running; or with winch and rappel operations; or when the aircraft is operating in a confined or remote area or on unfavourable terrain or in reduced visibility.

Daylight means the period commencing at the beginning of civil twilight (dawn) and concluding at the end of civil twilight (dusk).

Deliverable means any information, data, software, materials, products or other items supplied or to be supplied by the Contractor in connection with the provision of the Services, and includes, without limitation:

a) any data or information acquired or provided or otherwise generated in the course of performing the Services, or conducting testing, research or development requested by a Member;

b) any photographs or images of, information about, or event logs and similar records concerning fire incidents and fire risk areas, emergency operations and other activities generated in the course of providing the Services; and

c) data and information gathered in the course of the provision of the Services.

Dispatch means a request for Services of a Member through ARENA or otherwise to conduct operations (in contrast to a Standby, where the Services will be made ready to be Dispatched).

Dry means a Member meets the costs of the aviation fuel required to operate the aircraft.

Effective Control means in relation to any body corporate, the ability of any person directly or indirectly to exercise effective control over the body corporate (including the ability to determine the outcome of decisions about financial, operational and other policy matters of that body corporate) by virtue of holding voting shares, units or other interests in that body corporate or by any other means.

Emergency Response Plan means a written document which establishes the parameters and procedures as to how the Contractor will deal with an emergency situation relating to the Service.

Equipment means any equipment that is not related to an Aircraft used by the Supplier and is used to perform Services or undertake the tasks stipulated in the Contract (for example, a MFU that is supplied separately from an Aircraft).

Expiry Date means the end date of a Contract Period.

Ferry Flight means a flight with the sole purpose of relocating a Service during any Service Period to or from a NOB or TOB outside of a Member’s jurisdiction.  A ferry flight does not include mobilisation and demobilisation of Aircraft at the commencement and completion of a Service Period.

Firebombing means the dropping of Fire Suppressant or Fire Retardant from an aircraft in order to assist with the control or suppression of a fire as required by the agency responsible for controlling or suppressing the fire.  Firebombing also applies to the dropping of substances for training, demonstration and simulation purposes.

Firebombing Delivery System means the aircraft equipment and systems used to dispense Fire Suppressant or Fire Retardant in the conduct of Firebombing operations, including but not limited to, Firebombing tanks, belly tanks and underslung buckets.  A Firebombing Delivery System incorporates its component parts including, but not limited to, doors, gates, valves, venting systems, suppressant injection systems, system controllers and controller software.

Fire Retardant is a reference to either Fire Retardant Compound or Fire Retardant Slurry depending on the context in which it is used.

Fire Retardant Compound means a substance that is generally mixed with water designed when mixed and applied to a fuel, to retard combustion by a chemical reaction.

Fire Retardant Slurry means a mixture of dissolved or suspended Fire Retardant Compound and water prepared for application from the air (or ground) to retard the spread of a fire.

Fire Suppressant is a reference to either Fire Suppressant Concentrate or Fire Suppressant Solution depending on the context in which it is used.  Fire Suppressant may also refer to water without any additives.

Fire Suppressant Concentrate means a substance that is generally mixed with water, designed to reduce the surface tension of water and/or to hold water in suspension thus increasing water’s efficiency as a fire extinguishing agent.  Types of Fire Suppressant Concentrate include Class A firefighting foam, water enhancers and long and short chain polymer gels.

Fire Suppressant Solution means a mixture of Fire Suppressant Concentrate and water prepared for application from the air (or ground) to directly suppress a fire.

Fixed Wing Aircraft means a heavier than air aircraft which obtains lift for flight by forward motion of wings through the air.

Fleet is a reference to Services and Contracts for Services that are not on a CWN basis.

Flight Crew means any pilot in command, co-pilot, flight engineer or other member of the crew of an aircraft excluding Crewpersons who is required by statute or by the Contract to pilot or operate an aircraft when the aircraft is conducting Services under the Contract.

Flight Operation Returns (FOR) means any document or electronic record required by a Member to record details of the daily flying and/or standby associated with an Aircraft under the Contract.

Force Majeure Event means circumstances beyond a Contractor’s reasonable control that prevents it from performing its obligations under a Contract, including acts of God, pandemics, natural disasters, acts of war, riots, strikes outside that party’s organisation and the improper acts and omissions of the other party over which they have no control. A Force Majeure Event does not include (in the case of the Contractor’s breach or non-performance of a Contract) lack of funds for any reason, any strike specific to its Personnel, any fraud or theft, any Personnel becoming unavailable for any reason including illness, injury or death or any disruption caused by any person exercising a right of access, inspection or audit.

GPS means Global Positioning System and allows for navigation using signals from a constellation of satellites.

GST means the tax that is payable under GST law and imposed as a goods and services tax as set out in the GST Act.  GST Act means the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) as amended, or if that Act does not exist for any reason any other Act imposing or relating to the imposition or administration of a goods and service tax in Australia.

Health and Safety Laws means, as relevant, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic), the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT), the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (QLD), the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2020 (WA), the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (NT) and the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (TAS) and includes any regulations made under those Acts and any legislation that deals with a similar subject matter.

Heavy Vehicle National Law means, as relevant, the Heavy Vehicle National Law Application Act 2013 (Vic), the Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Act 2013 (NSW), the Heavy Vehicle National Law (ACT) Act 2013 (ACT), the Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia) Act 2013 (SA), the Heavy Vehicle National Law (Tasmania) Act 2013 (TAS) and includes any regulations made under those Acts, which give force to the Heavy Vehicle National Law set out in the Schedule to the Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012 (Qld).

IAB means the Interagency Airtanker Board (

Insolvency Event means for a person, being in liquidation or provisional liquidation or under administration, having a controller (as defined in the Corporations Act) or analogous person appointed to it or any of its property, being taken under section 459F(1) of the Corporations Act to have failed to comply with a statutory demand, being unable to pay its debts or otherwise insolvent, dying, ceasing to be of full legal capacity or otherwise becoming incapable of managing its own affairs for any reason, taking any step that could result in the person becoming an insolvent under administration (as defined in section 9 of the Corporations Act), entering into a compromise or arrangement with, or assignment for the benefit of, any of its members or creditors, or any analogous event.

Intellectual Property means all and any patents, patent applications, trade marks, service marks, trade names, domain names, registered designs, unregistered design rights, copyrights, know how, trade secrets and rights in confidential information, URLs and all and any other intellectual property rights, whether registered or unregistered, and including all applications and rights to apply for any of the same.

ISA means the International Standard Atmosphere.

Law means any statute, regulation, order, rule, subordinate legislation or other document enforceable under any statute, regulation, order, rule or subordinate legislation.

Liable Member means the Member that receives the benefit of the Services under the Contract and that is responsible for the operational and financial obligations in place of AFAC under the Contract, and is liable for all charges associated with the contracted Service.

Member means any party which has executed the Resource Management Agreement with AFAC.  The Members receive benefits and have obligations under the terms and conditions of a Contract either individually or collectively.

MFU means a self contained Mobile Fuelling Unit, and collectively any vehicle, including any fuel truck, tanker, towing vehicle, trailer, Personnel and associated equipment  that are required to deliver fuel into an aircraft. A MFU is intended to be mobile and may move from one location to another supporting aircraft.

Minimum Daily Charge means the minimum fees (Standing Charge and Operating Charge combined) to be levied by the Contractor during any day or part thereof when the Aircraft is required to be Serviceable/Available or is otherwise tasked by a person authorised by a Member to Standby or conduct operations. Minimum Daily Charge is sometimes expressed as a multiple of hourly Operating Charges, regardless the actual Minimum Daily Charge is solely a dollar amount.

MSA or Master Services Agreement means the Master Services Agreement applicable to CWN Contracts as specified in a Participation Deed, as made available on the NAFC website from time to time.

NAFC Type (or Type) is a method of classifying firefighting aircraft and is defined by the relevant NAFC policies and standards, including the NAFC Standard – Procurement Series, as amended from time to time.

Nominated Availability Base (NAB) means, for CWN Services, the location specified by the Contractor from time to time from which Service (incorporating an Aircraft, Flight Crew and/or  MFU as the case may be for that particular Service) is made available to commence a Service Period. The Contractor will use ARENA to nominate the availability base location and other availability details of the Service.

Nominated Operational Base (NOB) means, for Fleet Services, the location at which the aircraft providing the Service is required to be based during a Service Period.

Nominated Response Time means the period of time that may elapse from the time a Member provides a Dispatch and the time the respective aircraft is airborne and proceeding to undertake those tasks.

Notice Period means the minimum period of time specified as a number of days, required to advise the Contractor in advance of the commencement date for any Service Period.

NVIS means Night Vision Imaging System.

Operating Charge means the fees to be levied by the Contractor for the time the aircraft is actually operating to undertake the tasks as specified in the Contract.

Operating Environment means the environment in which the Services will be supplied which may include, but not be limited to, the following features:

a) meteorological conditions at extremes with weather conditions generating extreme turbulence; and

b) significantly reduced visibility cause by smoke, low cloud, dust or precipitation; and

c) terrain that may be unfamiliar to Personnel; and

d) remote locations with limited or no facilities or supplies; and

e) risk of dehydration and fatigue on Personnel; and

f) tasks required outside normal business hours; and

g) multiple aircraft operating in close proximity; and

h) implied or express pressure to “get the job done” given the nature of the tasks, fire or emergency operations, particularly when life or property or livelihoods are threatened; and

i) stress associated with large scale fire and emergency operations; and

j) operations occurring at low level with hazards including the terrain, smoke, wires, obstructions, locusts or birds; and

k) requirements to fly over water; and

l) prolonged periods where Services are required to be provided.

Partial Availability means that the Aircraft providing Services are required to be available only on certain days or at certain times as notified in advance to the Contractor by AFAC or a Member (in contrast to Absolute Availability).

Passenger Carrying Capability (PCC) means an estimate of the number of passengers that an aircraft is reasonably capable of carrying under specified circumstances.  The method of calculation is set out in NAFC Standard PR-003: Definition of Passenger Carrying Capability – Firefighting Aircraft.

Performance Measures means the performance measures set out in a Contract.

Personal Information means the same as in the Privacy Legislation.

Personnel means any person, who is an employee, officer, independent contractor, agent or professional advisor, employed or engaged by the Contractor to carry out any task related to the provision of the Services under the Contract; including and personnel employed or engaged by a subcontractor.

Primary Service means that for this Service, the occurrence of a Service Period is guaranteed for each year of the Contract Period.

Privacy Legislation means the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and includes the Australian Privacy Principles contained within that Act as well as any applicable analogous legislation in any jurisdiction from time to time.

Purchase Order means a written or electronic dispatch notice issued by a Member to the Contractor, confirming the details and the purchase of Services in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Contract. May be in the form of an Standby/Dispatch instruction issued through ARENA.

Refuelling Operator or MFU Operator means an individual supplied by the Contractor who assists in the delivery of aviation fuel into an aircraft.

Relevant Authority means any Commonwealth, state, local or semi-governmental department, municipality, organisation, instrumentality or other body or person exercising any powers or functions in relation to the Services.

Resource Management Agreement or RMA means the Resource Management Agreement between AFAC and the Members.

Rotary Wing Aircraft means a form of aircraft whose lift is produced by engine driven rotors.

Safety Management System means an integrated systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures.

Secondary Service means that for this Service, the occurrence of any Service Period is not guaranteed. If a Service Period is activated, then the full contracted minimum Service Period applies.

Serviceable, Serviceable (Limited) and Not Serviceable have the meaning given in a Contract.

Service means collectively all things that the Contractor is obliged to deliver to complete the tasks set out in the Contract and may include, but is not limited to, the provision of any Aircraft or other CWN Equipment, Flight Crew, Crewperson, equipment, sensors, computers, software, Intellectual Property, Personnel, vehicles and/or activities associated with a resource which is provided by the Contractor to AFAC and the Members under the Contract.

Service Period means a length of time where Contractors are to provide the Services to carry out aerial firefighting and other emergency operations and activities as set out in the Contract.  There may be more than one Service Period in each year of the Contract Period.

Specifications are applicable under CWN Contracts and means the specifications set out in a Participation Deed.

Specimen Contract means a template Contract provided as part of an Invitation to Tender for Fleet services on which future Contracts will be based.

Standby means on any day or part thereof the Service is required to be on standby and available to be Dispatched or otherwise tasked by a person authorised by a Member to conduct operations. Standby can also be referred to as ‘stand up’ in some jurisdictions.

Stand Down means that the Service, or a component of the Service, including but not limited to, Aircraft, Flight Crew and/or Crewperson is directed to cease operation, or to not commence operation, until the relevant person authorised by AFAC or a Member permits the Service or a component of the Service to recommence operations.

Standing Charge means the fees to be levied by the Contractor for the provision of the Service as specified in the Contract for each day of the Service Period, where applicable.

Table of Services (TOS) is the document which forms part of an Invitation to Tender, listing the Services for which tenders are invited.

Temporary Operational Base (TOB) means a location other than a NOB or NAB at which the Aircraft is temporarily required to be based during a Service Period.

Tender means any tender process run by NAFC, whether in the form of an Invitation to Tender or Request for Tender or otherwise, and Tender response means a tenderer’s/Contractor’s (as the case may be) submission in response to that Tender including all information supplied in that submission (including, for example, Services and Aircraft offered and proposed Contract Prices).

Wet-A means Services where the Contractor is responsible for the provision of fuel, fuelling facilities and infrastructure according to the provisions of the Contract and the Contractor is required to be self-contained, self-sufficient and mobile in the provision of fuel in most circumstances.

Wet-A Minus means Services with the same refuelling conditions as Wet-A with the exception that the Contractor is not required to be able to fuel other Contractor’s aircraft upon instruction by the Member (being a requirement for Wet-A Services).

Wet-B means Services where the Contractor is responsible for arranging and paying for fuel.  The Contractor is not required to have mobile fuelling facilities nor mobile infrastructure.  The Contractor is required to ensure that fuel is readily and reliably available at the NOB.