Wildfires, Airtanker Fleet
Monday, 06 May 2013 12:46
The U.S. Forest Service is gearing up for a tough wildfire season by adding to its large air tanker fleet seven planes that fly faster and will drop a bigger payload of fire retardant than in the past. The long-anticipated contracts announced Monday total $158 million and include several models of aircraft, including one for a converted DC10 that's bigger than anything the Forest Service has used on a regular basis. The newer planes join the aging fleet of eight large tankers, mostly Korean War-era submarine chasers. The agency says the new planes can meet the same demands as the larger fleet of smaller and slower fleet of years past. The large air tanker fleet has dwindled from 46 in 1990, partly due to a series of fatal crashes.
Nebraska Travel Outlook
Monday, 06 May 2013 09:04
The Nebraska Travel Commission says its goals for this summer's travel season could help the state surpass last year's success. The commission estimated $3.1 billion in total direct travel spending in Nebraska last year, a 5.6 percent increase over 2011. Among the commission's goals for the 2013 season is raising participation in tourism passport programs offered statewide and locally. More than 19,000 people from Nebraska, 11 other states and two foreign countries picked up the passports last year. The promotional tools offer discounts and prizes at participating businesses. The state program offers prizes for redeemed stamps from the 80 participating attractions. A partnership with the Nebraska Hotel & Motel Association will provide discounts to passport participants who mention the program when making reservations.