Aviation and Aerospace Headlines

Feb 26, 2016

B.C. sees sharp increase in international visitors, government says

A total of 4.9 million international visitors came to British Columbia in 2015, 7.9 per cent more than 2014, according to statistics released by the provincial government on Tuesday.

The largest percentage increase was from France — 32.8 per cent — while Japan saw a 15.5-per-cent increase in visitors to the province, the U.S. a 9.6-per-cent increase, South Korea and Mexico a 9.5-per-cent increase, and India an 8.4-per-cent increase.

According to a release, tourism was helped by a number of factors including the fast-growing aboriginal tourism sector and more direct flights to B.C.

The release said each new daily international flight to the province creates between 150 and 200 new jobs at Vancouver International Airport. Read more

BCAC Scholarships “Call for Nominations” now open

BC Aviation Council members recognize the financial pressures faced by students pursuing studies in aviation and aerospace, and the BCAC provides scholarships and awards for students on an annual basis.

Students actively pursuing studies in the following fields can apply for cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000:

• commercial pilot
• aviation maintenance
• airport operations
• private pilot
• flight instructor

Read more

Province announces plans to use Conair airtanker for firefighting season

Larry Scholle

*Photo by Larry Scholle

Finance Minister and Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong was in Abbotsford today (February 19) for a series of announcements at the Abbotsford Airport, including news of a pilot project involving Conair Group Inc.

De Jong announced that the provincial government will use Conair’s Avro RJ85 AT airtankers across B.C. during this year’s forest firefighting season

According to the Conair website, the RJ85 “provides excellent low-speed and high-speed performance, making this aircraft an ideal airtanker in any terrain. To the airtanker operator, this means firefighting excellence.” Read more

Transport Canada considers ‘no drone’ signs for Victoria harbour

Transport Canada is looking at ways to remind drone operators that Victoria’s harbour is also a busy airport for float planes and helicopters.

Anecdotal reports of drones flying in the area have been called into the Victoria Harbour Master’s office and Nav Canada, the federal agency said. Air operators that use the harbour have also raised the issue as a safety concern.

“It’s just an additional concern from a pilot point-of-view in terms of one more obstacle that they potentially need to keep an eye out for,” said Aaron McCrorie, director general for the aviation safety regulatory framework at Transport Canada.

The agency is considering installing signs around Victoria Harbour to inform recreational drone users that it is restricted airspace and drones pose risks to helicopters and float planes. Read more

Victoria International Airport protects its brand, trademarks YYJ

The authority had its application to register its trademark YYJ — the International Air Transport Association airport code for Victoria — approved and formalized by Industry Canada.

The move has nothing to do with launching a marketing or branding campaign, as Vancouver did with its YVR designation, but with ensuring the three letters are used for good rather than evil.

“YYJ is becoming more prevalent in the Twitter world as a hashtag and we noticed other airports across Canada have done it, so we thought it would be prudent to step up,” said Geoff Dickson, president of the airport authority. “We don’t want to be in a position to have people using YYJ inappropriately.” Read more

WestJet announces new service to London and Hamilton, Ontario

WestJet announced two new, non-stop seasonal routes from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to London and Hamilton, Ontario.

From June 29 to September 5, 2016, WestJet will offer four-time weekly, non-stop service to London. And from June 30 to September 4, 2016, it will offer three-time weekly, non-stop service to Hamilton.

“We are excited to welcome new, non-stop services to London and Hamilton, both of which will offer passengers greater convenience and more connectivity – just in time for the busy summer travel season,” said Anne Murray, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Both locales are popular tourist destinations, known for their warm summers, family-friendly activities and proximity to the Great Lakes.” Read more

WEEKLY PHOTO FEATURE BY BRADLEY FRIESEN

Check out Bradley’s Instagram for more amazing aviation photos here

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