About us

Our Story

Forest Protection Limited (FPL) is the largest 702 aerial operator in Eastern Canada.

Since our incorporation in 1952, it has been our mandate to preserve and protect the forests that sustain our ecosystems, our communities, and our economies. We are a global leader in full-spectrum forest health management. FPL helps forest practitioners preserve and promote forest health through aerial firefighting, collaborative research & development, training, and aerial work. Our unique set of specializations allows us to better champion forest stewardship.

FPL’s many New Brunswick forest stakeholders trust us to promote their important natural resources by:

  • Acting as stewards of the environment, actively working to preserve and promote the sustainability of forests using the latest developments in science, technology and forestry practices;
  • Demonstrating leadership and continue to set the example of safety, professionalism, reliability, and innovation that we have been known for since 1952;
  • Acting in the best interests of our industry through a continued commitment to working collaboratively with other forest practitioners.

Throughout our history, FPL has been at the vanguard of safe pesticide technology.

FPL was the founding member of the New Brunswick Spray Efficiency Research Group (NB-SERG) which later developed into the National Research Group, SERG, and finally into its current state, SERG-I with the inclusion of international partner organizations from the USA. This group aims to develop science surrounding the development of research and development in Forest Health, and includes governmental partners from every province and territory, as well as the US department of Natural Resources and department of Forestry. As a founding member, FPL remains the only private operator in the organization, retains a seat on the Board of Directors and plays an important role in the management of all financial and IT affairs on behalf of the SERG-I membership.

FPL tells the story of innovation, professionalism and safety within the forest management industry. We are industry leaders with a long-standing commitment to improving every aspect of health and safety within our profession.

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

Managing Directors over the years

  • 1952 → Barney Flieger 
  • 1975 → Bud Irving 
  • 1990 → David Davies
  • 2014 → JP Astorino
  • 2019 → Steven Hansen

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

1950-60

  • Construction of 15 airstrips within New Brunswick providing critical infrastructure. 
  • First Quebec contract for aerial protection of Lower St. Lawrence – Gaspe forest from Spruce Budworm (1954-1975).
  • First hired by the State of Maine to aerial protect Caribou area from Spruce Budworm. Six Stearman used (1954).

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

1960-70

  • FPL develops the “aerial flagging” method of guiding its TBM-3E spray aircraft over spray blocks. The first “aerial flagging” system to be employed for the guidance of spray aircraft.
  • FPL hired by Quebec, Ontario, and Newfoundland to aerially protect their forests against pests such as spruce budworm and Hemlock Looper.
  • The state of Maine adopts FPL’s “aerial flagging” system.
  • Construction of 3 more airstrips in NB.
Forest Protected Limited’s Milestones: Aircraft spraying

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

1970-80

  • Tracking spruce budworm moth flights with radar.  
  • Large-scale spruce budworm moth spraying trial by TBM-3E and DC-6.  FPL purchases its first eleven TBM-3E aircraft.
  • Began sponsoring R&D work with the University of New Brunswick Chemical Engineering Department.
  • FPL set up its first Transport Canada licensed radio shop.

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

1980-90

  • FPL’s first logo created by long-time employee Mr. Don Henry.
  • FPL funds research by the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of New Brunswick to develop a constant speed atomizer.
  • The New Brunswick Spray Efficacy Research Group (NBSERG) was formed and included the Canadian Forest Service.

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

1990-2000

  • First office PC purchased.
  • GPS guidance is the first major change to aerial navigation since the “aerial flagging” system developed by FPL in 1961.
  • The name NBSERG was changed to SERG after other provinces joined the group.

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

2000-2010

  • Introduction of FPL’s latest logo
  • First AT802F (#620) arrives at FPL HQ in Fredericton, NB
  • Construction of a new spray technology wind tunnel begins.
  • First flight of an AIMMS-20 meteorological system on an AT-802F.
  • FPL works in ON, NB, NL, NS, BC, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Florida and visited Uruguay.
  • First installation of the FireNav tracking and guidance system by AG-NAV.
  • Former US President, George Bush, met with FPL staff and signed TBM Avenger #23.
  • ISO14001:2004 Certified.
  • USDA Forest Service joined, SERG International was accepted as the new name for the organization.

Forest Protection Limited's Milestones

2010-2020

  • Last of FPL’s TBM-3E sold (C-FIMR).
  • First operational use of Aerial Management System in NB.
  • FPL creates a unified fleet of tankers (Air Tractor 802F) and support aircraft (Piper Aerostar).
  • New Management Systems & New Management Team in place.