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NNAFA - National Aerial Firefighting Academy

Course Description:

The National Aerial Firefighting Academy (NAFA) is a training effort by and for personnel directly involved in aerial retardant and water delivery. The intent is to educate both Agency and Contract personnel using subject matter experts from both sectors.

This course is geared toward those who are new to the firefighting environment.

NAFA will provide participants information needed to safely and effectively work together in a congested airspace over a wildland fire incident. Tactics, operations and experience are integrated into this aerial firefighting training. The course provides a look into the “other pilot’s” job. which provides an important perspective needed to achieve the same goal: support the firefighters on the ground with aerial resources safely, effectively and efficiently.  


  • NAFA is a contract requirement for new Airtanker, Scooper and Level 2 SEAT pilots.
  • NAFA, NAFA II or NAFA III will meet the contract requirement for Airtanker Pilot in Command (AKPs) every three years. 


By the end of this course,  students will:

  • Understand operations and communications within the Fire Traffic Area in order to safely support the ground firefighters. 
  • Increase aerial firefighting knowledge by integrating tactics, operations and coordination of various resources to enhance their effectiveness and safety.
  • Have a basic understanding of  aerial firefighting to include dispatching, fire terminology, airbase operations, human factors, fire behavior and the Incident Command System.
  • Improve knowledge of Fire policies, drop patterns, coverage levels, strategies, techniques and factors influencing aerial application on Wildland Fire.


Target Group:

Contract and agency personnel directly involved in aerial retardant and water delivery:

  • Large Airtanker(LAT)Pilots
  • Scooper Pilots
  • Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) Pilots
  • Single Engine Airtanker (SEAT) Pilots
  • Type I, Type II and Type III Helicopter Pilots
  • Very Large Airtanker (VLAT) Pilots
  • Air Attack Pilots
  • Agency Air Tactical Group Supervisors (ATGS)
  • Agency Leadplane Pilots
  • Agency Dispatchers

Total Hours: 32


Is a member of NAFA specified target group listed above.