U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is working on legislation that would expand the sales of firefighting helicopters to private and public entities.
A group of Democrats have introduced legislation that aims to expand the number of helicopters that can be sold to private companies and to increase the amount of funding available for the program, which has been in place since the 1980s.
The bill would expand a pilot program that allows U.P. helicopters to be used by state and local fire departments and federal agencies.
The Department of Homeland Security has approved a total of 17,000 of the helicopters, which are used to fly crews in the field.
In addition, the bill would require that all helicopters purchased by U.N. personnel be equipped with smoke detection and evacuation systems.
The House and Senate have yet to take up the legislation.
A spokeswoman for the U.K. Fire and Rescue Service, which owns the firefighting helicopter fleet, told The Hill that it is “looking into” whether it will buy the helicopters.
She added that the U-boat was the subject of an earlier bill that would have expanded the UCP program.
She said that the company would consider purchasing the aircraft but that it “wouldn’t be for a long time.”