About UAFA

What is the UAFA?

The United Aerial Firefighting Association (UAFA) was established in 2022 to foster and promote safety and standardization in the aerial firefighting community through education, advocacy, and collaboration. The Association intends to educate stakeholders impacted by wildfire on ways to improve wildfire fighting outcomes by utilizing the current and future fleet in more productive and efficient ways.

The UAFA brings together the most experienced industry experts to provide a strong and coordinated voice for the entire aerial firefighting community with the goal of informing policymakers and legislators about important issues concerning the increasingly critical and complex nature of aerial wildland firefighting.

Why now for the UAFA?

What we’re doing now isn’t working. The Association’s leadership felt an overwhelming need to pull the industry together with its customers, suppliers and supporters to work with them to alter the current trajectory of wildland firefighting.

After a decade or more of trying to curb the advance of wildfires through forest health investment, while maintaining suppression spending at the same relative amounts, it has become clear that the solution needs to be a combination of investment in prevention, suppression, and community hardening to drive better outcomes for our tax-paying citizens who are expecting more.

By driving standards for improved safety, competency, and response times across the entire aerial firefighting complex, the UAFA believes it can help the citizens and agencies it serves, improve the chances for better results.

Key Objectives

  • Provide a single voice when speaking to our customers or Congress about issues that impact our industry
  • Improve contracting process through collaboration with customers prior to the RFP being formed
  • Identify and provide authoritative experts for industry
  • Respond to industry issues as they develop

2024 Objectives

  • Committee Development
  • Member Engagement
  • Legislative/Agency Engagement
  • 2nd Annual UAFA Conference
UAFA logo
“We’ve seen tremendous change occur in wildland fire aviation over the last two decades, and as we look forward, we see more change on the horizon and the challenges only becoming more significant.

With the growing national security threat that wildfires pose year in and year out, the entire aerial firefighting community wants to ensure that we are doing everything we can to provide the highest levels of service to the tax-paying citizens expecting better outcomes.

UAFA was started with that goal, and looks forward to partnering with federal, state and private entities who share the same concerns.

Together, we can leverage the collective expertise of our membership to ensure our industry continues to respond to the growing need with the innovation, safety, and standardization necessary to generate better outcomes in the future.”

- John Gould, UAFA President
2023 UAFA

Board of Directors

John Gould
Bart Brainerd
Vice President
Brett L’Esperance
Secretary & Treasurer
Tim Sheehy
Jennifer Draughon
Eddie Goldberg
Ryan Mason


Paul Petersen
Paul Petersen
Executive Director
Tiffany Taylor
Tiffany Taylor
Senior Policy Director


Government & Industry Affairs
The Government and Industry Affairs Committee (GIAC) develops and executes UAFA activities, subject to the review and approval of the Board of Directors, with respect to legislative and regulatory affairs at the federal and state levels and work closely with legislators, regulators, agencies, industry groups, lobbying firms and others to promote and protect UAFA’s members’ interests.
Bart Brainerd
Firehawk Helicopters
Vice Chair
Jennifer Draughon
Neptune Aviation Services
Membership Committee
The Membership Committee (MC) shall oversee membership recruitment, retention and execute activities, subject to the review and approval of the Board of Directors, with respect to the facilitation of member-facing activities core to the UAFA purpose.
In Progress