Aviation and Aerospace Headlines

Jul 7, 2016


Abbotsford students go airborne


*Photo courtesy of the Abbotsford News

A new Abbotsford school district program that provides hands-on pilot training recently celebrated its first graduation at the Abbotsford Airport with an awards dinner and flying lessons for the guests.

Following the dinner at the Baron Restaurant, the 12 students in the AV 100 Aviation Program gave their parents a tour of the hangar, dispatch centre and a flying lesson in the simulators.

The aviation program is part of the district’s career programs.

“This course offers our students exposure to a variety of career paths and opportunities in the Aviation field that they may not have had otherwise,” Abbotsford Board of Education Chair Rhonda Pauls said.

During their year, students in the AV 100 program met the Transport Canada ground instruction requirements towards their private pilot license.

They also learned to how to plan a cross country trip by air then ‘fly’ the actual route using a flight simulator at Coastal Pacific Aviation; viewed the inside workings of an aircraft engine at COPAC’s Aircraft Maintenance facility; learned about air traffic control by visiting the Abbotsford International control tower; learned how to repair damaged aircraft skin at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Aircraft Structures Technician training facility; toured Chinook Helicopters; learned about fighting fires from the air by visiting Conair and took a behind-the-scenes tour of Abbotsford International Airport operations.

Full story via The Abbotsford News here

Airport upgrades coming to Dawson Creek


Photo: (From right) Airport manager Ian Darling, Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, Coun. Terry McFadyen, Coun. Paul Gevatkoff and Mayor Dale Bumstead attend a ceremony July 5 unveiling new funding for the Dawson Creek Airport.   Photograph By Mike Carter

Another round of provincial funding has landed at the Dawson Creek airport to the tune of $128,250.

The money comes from the B.C. Air Access funding program and will be used for a range of upgrades to the front of the terminal building including lighting, windows, sidewalks and a roof over the entrance and exit.  The airport applied for the grants to carry out these three projects.

Last year, the airport received $82,311 form the air access program. It was used to for security upgrades, CCTV and repairs for a leaky terminal roof.

The long-term plan for the airport has recently been the subject of debate before city council. A planned $20.7 million spend in the city’s five-year financial plan to upgrade airport equipment and infrastructure had some councillors questioning whether the city needs an airport at all with other, bigger hubs like Grande Prairie and Fort St. John nearby.

Aside from close competition, the airport’s biggest hurdle right now is the length of its runway according to general manager Ian Darling.

Darling says he believes Dawson Creek missed out on adding a new air carrier when low budget flyer New Leaf announced it would be expanding its services into Fort St. John last month.

“Our runways are only 5,000 feet,” Darling said. Most jets need more than that to safely land. “I feel like if we had (a larger runway) we may have been able to get New Leaf in here.”

The cost of a runway expansion would run anywhere from $4 to $5 million, Darling said, adding that could realistically take three to four years to complete.

For now, Darling said his focus is improving the facility to be able to handle more traffic.

Full story via The Dawson Creek Mirror here

Williams Lake airport receives provincial funding for fuel tank storage

City of Williams Lake Chief Financial Officer William Wallace (from left), Mayor Walt Cobb and Airport Manager Shea de la Mare (right) on hand Thursday for announcement from MLA Donna Barnett that the airport is receiving $150,000 from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure through its BC Air Access Program. The funds will be used to complete the installation of fuel tank storage tanks and related infrastructure.

City of Williams Lake Chief Financial Officer William Wallace (from left), Mayor Walt Cobb and Airport Manager Shea de la Mare (right) on hand Thursday for announcement from MLA Donna Barnett that the airport is receiving $150,000 from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure through its BC Air Access Program. The funds will be used to complete the installation of fuel tank storage tanks and related infrastructure.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett was in Williams Lake Thursday to announce $150,000 in funding to enhance fuel storage at the airport.

“It will certainly be a benefit to the airport, to those landing here, to our fire suppression and will help the economics of the airport,” Barnett said, noting the funding is coming from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure through the BC Air Access Safety Program.

With the funding the airport will complete a $200,000 project, said airport manager Shea de la Mare.

“The money will be used to upgrade our Avgas fuel system, which is used by general aviation and smaller helicopters,” de la Mare said. “The airport identified several years ago our system was outdated and needed to be replaced and upgraded to new standards.”

Full story via The Williams Lake Tribune here

Goodyear Blimp lands in Abbotsford, making rare appearance in area

One of the historic Goodyear Blimps flew in to Abbotsford on Tuesday in a rare visit to the WestCoast.

The Spirit of Innovation landed at Abbotsford International Airport as part of a tour that includedcelebrating the 60th anniversary of Goodyear tire customer Fountain Tire.

The airship was on hand on Wednesday evening, when Fountain Tire held a free drive-in movie night and family-friendly activities at the Abbotsford Flying Club.

The blimp made its way along the Pacific coast starting last Thursday, with stops in Santa Maria andSonoma, California, then on to Coos Bay in Oregon, and Chehalis and Everett in Washington beforelanding in Abbotsford, where it will be based until Sunday.

It has been 13 years since a Goodyear Blimp made a visit to this area, and one of the last times theSpirit of Innovation will fly, as it is being retired next year.

Full story via The Abbotsford News here

Oliver airport gets expansion funds

Oliver Municipal Airport is getting a grant of $157,350 to fund upgrades under the B.C. Air Access program.

The funding, announced this week by Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson, will create a new parallel runway at the airport and widen the taxiway at the ramp to reduce congestion.

“This will increase safety and capacity at the airport, which is a benefit to everyone,” said Larson.

Ron Hovanes, mayor of Oliver, said the funding comes at a critical time for the community’s airport.

“The expansion project will not only address safety concerns, it will also assist us in increasing airport capacity and business development to support our economic growth,” said Hovanes.

Airport manager Paul Dumoret, said this is one of the most beneficial grants received by the airport.

“With the influx of larger aircraft, the need for a parallel taxiway and ramp expansion has become more of a necessity than ever, in order to accommodate the size and numbers of movements, which fuels the economic growth of this region,” said Dumoret. “We have been a very fortunate community to have accessed a number of grants in the past that have assisted in making this the active airport it is today, with more and more turbine and charter traffic.”

Through the B.C. Air Access Program, the government cost shares with public airports on development projects, allowing airports to improve safety, accommodate larger aircraft and more frequent flights, and further support the continuing growth of local and provincial economies.

Full story via the Penticton Western News here

Pacific Coastal Airlines now offers electronic ticketing


Pacific Coastal Airlines (8P) has introduced electronic ticketing, allowing agents to seamlessly add Pacific Coastal flights to a multi-airline e-ticket, or issue a stand-alone 8P ticket, via Sabre, Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan.

Canadian travel agents can purchase electronic tickets for travel on Pacific Coastal Airlines using cash, Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

There are three different fare categories to choose from: Bravo (classes Z, M, L), Classic (B, H, V) and Encore (Q, R, Y). Special fares, such as medical and compassionate travel fares, are also available but must be called in.

Pacific Coastal Airlines offers 7% commission to registered travel agents who book directly on pacificcoastal.com via the agent portal. Tickets purchased through GDSs, or reservations that are called into the airline’s call centre, are non-commissionable. Agents receive 5% commission for groups of 10 or more passengers as well as having access to discounted standby or confirmed travel for themselves.

Full story via Travel Week here

YVR’s new Air Canada flight to Delhi means new business for locals

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*Photo via the Vancouver Sun

Vancouver’s first new direct flight to India in decades could set off a flurry of business activity between the two markets.

That is why the B.C.-India Business Network (BCIBN), which includes several local business leaders who have been working on getting the new flight for more than 20 years, will host a symposium on the impact of the connection on July 15 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.

BCIBN president Catherine Sas said the event will be a celebration for those who have worked on the issue, but she also recognized a need to inform Canadians who are not familiar with B.C.-India trade relations about the opportunities at hand.

“After the announcement (of the new direct flight to Delhi) came out, we thought it would be a good idea to showcase this, to share the information on how this is going to materialize, and what the impact is going to be,” Sas said. “It does make sense to have an event to focus what it means in practical terms.”

Full story via The Vancouver Sun here

Women in Aviation International has announced that they are now accepting applications for 2017 scholarships

Women in Aviation International has announced that they are now accepting applications for 2017 scholarships. Currently, the organization is offering 98 scholarships which are valued at just under $500,000. According to WAI officials, there is a Women in Aviation scholarship for just about any aviation-related interest, including academic scholarships, flight training scholarships (both for advanced flight training and type ratings), aviation maintenance related scholarships and more. Additional scholarships are expected to be added in the coming months, and according to officials, the total value of the scholarships generally exceeds more than $600,000.

Most of these scholarships will be awarded to students next year, March 2-4, at the 28th annual International Women in Aviation Conference. The conference will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian had this to say, “Scholarship awards are a major benefit of membership in Women in Aviation International. Since the inception of our scholarship program 20 years ago, WAI has awarded more than $10 million to its members to help them reach their goals and advance into the aviation and aerospace careers they have always dreamed about. Thanks to our generous sponsors, there is truly something for every profession, age group, and interest.

 Full story via Disciples of Flight here


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