The federal government is considering privatizing the military’s search and rescue operations as part of a much-delayed plan to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of rescue planes. According to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen, the government recently told manufacturers that “Alternative Service Delivery”—government jargon for contracting out services—is on the table in the search and rescue field. Ottawa has been trying to replace its gaggle of 40-year-old fixed-wing Buffalos since 2003. An earlier bid was scuppered, according to a source, after the Air Force rigged the bidding to favour a single firm. The Buffalos, which have been plagued by mechanical problems, are still used on missions in the Rockies and the west coast.