WestJet today returned the first of its 737 MAX airliners to passenger service with the departure of WS115 from Calgary to Vancouver. With the second 737 MAX flight, WS122, from Vancouver to Calgary departing at noon PT.
On board the first flight were 71 guests including Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO, Chris Burley, WestJet Board Chair and Chris Rauenbusch, President, CUPE Local 4070 and a member of WestJet's Inflight team. The aircraft was piloted by Captain David Colquhoun, WestJet Master Executive Council Chair, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and Captain Scott Wilson, Vice President WestJet Operations.
"The return of WestJet's MAX aircraft to the fleet marks an operational milestone after 22 months of intense review," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "WestJet's preparation, training processes, due diligence and safety above all philosophy drives our confidence in welcoming guests on board our MAX aircraft."
Captain David Colquhoun, WestJet Master Executive Council Chair, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said, "For nearly two years, ALPA has been working tirelessly with Transport Canada, international regulators, and airline management on reviewing the MAX and the revised pilot training requirements needed to safely return this aircraft to service. No one knows better than airline pilots what is needed to be adequately prepared and trained to manage the handling qualities of this renewed aircraft. Today, as we usher the safe return of the MAX in Canada, ALPA will continue to provide its expertise and voice of safety in future discussions."
"I was proud to operate the MAX aircraft today on its first commercial flight since the Canadian skies reopened," said Captain Scott Wilson, WestJet Vice President Operations. "I am confident with the changes made to the aircraft and our training procedures, our MAX is one of the safest aircraft in the skies."
Chris Rauenbusch, President CUPE Local 4070 said, "CUPE Local 4070, the union representing WestJet cabin crew members, has full confidence in the return of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to the workplace of our membership. Union representatives participated in a full technical briefing at Boeing facilities in Seattle, WA and following further data from Transport Canada, Boeing and WestJet, the union is confident that this aircraft type is safe for our cabin crew and our guests."
WestJet announced on January 6, the airline's phased and transparent approach to the return to service of the Boeing MAX aircraft. In addition, the airline has created a variety of resources to assist guests in feeling comfortable, including a behind-the-scenes video looking at the pilot and maintenance team efforts that went into safely returning the aircraft to the skies. Details can be found on the website: www.westjet.com/maxinfo.
Private Aviation company Jet It, founded by industry veterans Glenn Gonzales and Vishal Hiremath in 2018, continued its rapid growth with the delivery of six new HondaJets during the final quarter of 2020. The investment is valued at over $36 million, and with the delivery of the additional six aircrafts, the young company more than doubled its fleet in 2020 and met its goal of ten aircraft in operation.
In response to market demand, Jet It has also expanded its sales and service operations to the West Coast. Along with several new West Coast owners, Jet It has onboarded top aviation sales veteran, Gino Jooyan, as Director of Sales, Western USA. Jooyan will manage and direct the Jet It business development strategy to secure new owners in the Western US.
"Gino is a servant leader with 20+ years of successful business aviation sales experience in the Western US at industry benchmarks FlexJet, Jet Aviation, and Executive Jet Management. He is a perfect fit for our culture, and we are very excited to have him formally introduce Jet It to a market that frequently inquired about our Westward expansion," says Jet It's CEO Glenn Gonzales.
Jet It has also launched sales and operations of its innovative business model in Canada. According to Gonzales, "The Canadian market has expressed a high level of demand for Jet It. The need for autonomous, efficient regional travel in Canada is very strong, as it is in the US with Jet It, or for Europeans flying with our sister company JetClub. Our growth in the States has generated awareness in Canada for so many interested in Jet It providing cost-effective private travel. Whether from Toronto to Montreal, Calgary to Vancouver, or from remote access communities, Jet It can connect you throughout Canada and the US."
According to Jooyan, "Jet It has been the best kept secret in private aviation, and I look forward to kicking off 2021 by delivering the ultimate customer experience with a first-class team of extraordinary pilots and operations staff, for customers in the Western US, Canada and beyond!"
For more information on Jet It or Jet It Canada visit, www.gojetit.com or www.gojetit.ca.
The PT6 turboprop engine is the proven choice for demanding, high-cycle/high-power applications in single- and twin-engine aircraft for all kinds of missions and applications. The engine fleet’s current flying population is more than 25,000 units and it has accumulated more than 410 million flight hours and counting–that’s more flying time than anyone else in this segment.
Makris sees the 50,000-engine marker as the opportunity to pause and thank customers and employees for this remarkable accomplishment. It is a testament to the ongoing success of the engine and the innovation behind its ongoing evolution. The most recent example of this being the launch of the PT6 E-Series™ engine, the first the first turbine engine in the general aviation market to offer a dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and engine control.
“This production milestone is unmatched in the industry. It offers us another opportunity to celebrate the engine’s ongoing success as we continue exploring new horizons for even more flying possibilities,” Makris said. “The achievement sits as the collective cornerstone of Pratt & Whitney in General Aviation. With the PT6 E-Series™ engine now at the forefront, we remain committed to pushing innovation as we’ve been doing since the very beginning.”
The Red Deer Regional Airport is proud to welcome their newest aviation business to Central Alberta, the Canadian Aviation College.
The Canadian Aviation College is a designated training institution who currently operate from their main college in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, and are happily transitioning a secondary location to the Red Deer Regional Airport. This transition into Central Alberta with both single and twin-engine aircraft will allow students and instructors from the college to take advantage of the diverse landscapes of the region, while utilizing the consistent winter weather of Alberta.
As a student-oriented aviation training facility, the team at Canadian Aviation College focus on empowering their students to graduate with a higher level of experience and be better suited for employment in Canada. International students who graduate from their Commercial Pilot Program are also eligible for post-graduation work permits in select countries. The economic impact of students within Central Alberta is immense.
Students with the Canadian Aviation College will live within Central Alberta as they complete their studies, and this number of students will continue to grow year after year. These students are able to contribute to the local economy by eating meals, visiting sites, and contributing to daily activities and transportation. This addition to our local economy is vital in times such as these.
“Students are a huge economic driver for Central Alberta, and we are so happy to see upwards of 100 students here with the Canadian Aviation College as we look to the future”, says Graham Ingham, CEO of the Red Deer Regional Airport. “The Airport has continued to remain busy throughout 2020, with essential service business and VIP traffic, and this addition of the airport’s third aviation school is a fantastic benefit to that economic impact.”
The future of flight in Canada took a major step forward today with the launch of the Vancouver-based Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM), a multi-stakeholder group that will streamline research, development and commercial operations in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector, globally recognized as the next frontier of commercial aviation.
AAM involves the use of zero-emission, electric or hydrogen fuel cells, and vertical takeoff aircraft to provide transportation, emergency and supply chain services for urban and rural communities.
Among the many benefits of these aircraft are greater manoeuverability, less need for ground infrastructure (airport runways), less aircraft noise, reduced fossil fuel consumption, lower costs, shorter travel times and improved safety.
Initiated and created by Canadian Air Mobility and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), there are currently more than twenty partners involved in the national effort. CAAM’s key members include TransLink, Helijet International, British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of British Columbia, Bell Textron, Iskwew Air, and many of Canada’s leading aerospace stakeholders.
“We’ve established an outstanding group of strategic members to support the design, integration, and implementation of Advanced Air Mobility in Canada,” said JR Hammond, Founder and CEO, Canadian Air Mobility and Executive Director, CAAM.
“We look forward to demonstrating the economic viability, environmental benefits and social inclusivity factors of this technology and making Canada a world leader in AAM. To that end, we welcome additional members who share our vision that AAM provides the path toward a safer, healthier, and more efficient mode of transportation.”
In addition to providing transportation within urban and rural areas, AAM aircraft will play a critical life-saving role in emergency response situations by enabling faster air transportation of medical supplies, blood, donor organs, or patients to and from hospitals.
It will also improve the emergency response and assessment of natural disasters such as floods and wildfires.
Factors making the Greater Vancouver Area a promising AAM market include: a strong aviation infrastructure base; an existing scheduled helicopter service, with heliports in Vancouver and nearby Victoria and Nanaimo; numerous science and transportation research facilities; the Province of British Columbia and City of Vancouver’s commitment to the decarbonization of transportation; and the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia corridor (Vancouver-Seattle-Portland), as one of the busiest routes for the movement of goods and people between Canada and the United States.
Among CAAM’s objectives are to create an AAM innovation hub to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow their technology from a low technology readiness level (TRL) to certification and commercialization, while also expanding the AAM sector’s connections to regulators, manufacturers, aviation operators, infrastructure developers, academia, industry, and governments in Canada and internationally.
“The National Research Council of Canada is proud to be a part of the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility (caam) consortium since the start,” said Dr. Ibrahim Yimer, the NRC’s Vice-President of Transportation and Manufacturing.
“We look forward to working with our 20 partners who are lending their expertise in the Advanced Air Mobility industry to decarbonize transportation, and create more efficient ways of moving people, goods and services and support more socially connected and integrated communities.”
The future of the new era in aviation means faster medevac services, upwards of 4.2 million AAM travellers over the next 20 years, travelling between downtown Seattle and downtown Vancouver in one hour versus three, expanding connections in remote communities and more importantly, creating new jobs.
For 75 years, Ellen Island Camp in Northern Ontario, has been providing superb walleye, pike, and small mouth bass fishing for people who want to mix adventure with fishing rods. The 17-acre island, which is in a lake with nearly 500 miles of shoreline, is accessible to fishermen only by boat. The boat can accommodate up to 20 people at a time for the 45-minute ride to the island.
The current owner, Jeff Landriault, expanded his personal options with the acquisition of a 1970 Cessna Skyhawk on floats. Because of insurance and the type of equipment and provisions his clients show up with at the mainland dock, he restricts the aircraft to personal use…things like flying into other remote, pristine lakes for family fishing or half-hour trips to the nearest town for an expensive quart of milk. To enhance the versatility of his 172K, Jeff installed a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System on the Pen Yan 180 hp engine. Jeff said: “The Power Flow exhaust has made a difference in takeoff and climb performance, and has improved our fuel economy. The addition was worth the investment.” Because the Power Flow System causes the engine to run cooler and more efficiently, it enhances engine life and reliability, which is critical in an isolated location like Lady Evelyn Lake.
To learn more about walleye, pike, and bass fishing in Northern Ontario, visit EllenIslandCamp.com. For more information about Power Flow Systems and how they improve aircraft performance, visit PowerFlowSystems.com
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited announced today that Transport Canada has confirmed the extension of approvals that permit the conversion of Dash 8 Series aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters (SPF) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The approvals which now extend to July 31, 2021, will allow for continued flexibility in the transportation of goods in the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There is an ongoing, fundamental need for the transport of humanitarian aid and cargo; air cargo services therefore continue to be vital for the economy, financial stability of aircraft operators, and for fighting COVID-19," said Amod Kelkar, Vice President, Customer Services and Support, De Havilland Canada. "We are therefore delighted that Transport Canada has confirmed an extension to the approvals for our Dash 8 Series Simplified Package Freighters.
"Our teams have issued the revised Aircraft Flight Manual supplements to customers who bought this solution and we are working to convert the SPF modifications to permanent Service Bulletins based on the need and the regulatory allowances. Our goal is to stay in close contact with our customers to ensure that their requirements are met during this challenging time and we will provide more updates as we progress further," added Mr. Kelkar.
De Havilland Canada's Service Bulletins allow Dash 8-100/200, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft to be quickly converted into Simplified Package Freighters by the removal of seats and seat track covers in the passenger cabins. The converted Dash 8-100/200, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft provide total potential cargo capacities of up to 6,500 lb, up to 9,625 lb and up to 17,960 lb respectively.
The Royal Canadian Air Force concluded its participation in CRUZEX 2018 in Natal, Brazil, on November 30, following almost two weeks of training alongside members of several militaries from around the Americas.
This was the RCAF’s second time participating in CRUZEX, which was last held in 2013. Operating two CC-130J Hercules cargo aircraft, the CRUZEX Air Task Force was made up of 37 members of 436 Transport Squadron and 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, and two jumpmasters from the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre (CAAWC).
“During CRUZEX, we took the opportunity to fly tactical missions in combat scenarios, performing everything from airborne operations and container delivery system drops, to upgrade flights for our first officers,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Andy Bowser, Air Task Force Commander and Commanding Officer of 436 Transport Squadron. “Perhaps the most important part of the exercise for us was building relationships with our partner nations in the region.”
Second Lieutenant Mariana Dutra (left) and Lieutenant Lay-Ann Lie Vieira Quelie (centre), pilots with the Brazilian Air Force, join a warrant officer from 426 Transport Training Squadron on the ramp of an RCAF CC-130J Hercules for a training flight on CRUZEX 2018 near Natal, Brazil on November 23, 2018. Photograph by Able Seaman Paul Green
Defence diplomacy in the Americas is a key initiative of Strong, Secure, Engaged (Canada’s Defence Policy), and Brazil is one of the Government of Canada’s priorities for engagement in the Western Hemisphere. The RCAF has had a bilateral relationship with the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira) since 2009.
During the combined training scenarios, RCAF members witnessed the operations of, and trained alongside, multiple Brazilian Air Force, Navy and Army aircraft; Chilean and United States Air Force F-16s and KC-135s; a French C-235 transport plane; Peruvian A-37s and Mirage 2000s fighters; and Uruguayan A-37s.
“Exercising in unfamiliar environments like Brazil contributes to the operational readiness of Air Mobility aircrew and technicians, as we may be called upon to fly anywhere in the world to support Canadian Armed Forces operations,” said Captain Samantha Behm, a pilot with 436 Squadron.
Members of CAAWC had the opportunity to jump from Brazilian C-130s and C-295s, and hosted Brazilian Army paratroopers on board RCAF CC-130Js for a jump. The exercise concluded with 160 Brazilian Army paratroops (“paraquedistas”) receiving their Canadian jump wings in a ceremony.
“Through participation in CRUZEX, the RCAF is strengthening international and regional security, and developing important relationships that will enable close collaboration on future humanitarian and military missions,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.
On November 8, Bombardier released its third quarter 2018 results, which included several announcements. One of the more notable announcements, is the plan to cut 5,000 jobs over the next twelve to eighteen months. According to the company's press release, "Bombardier also launched a new enterprise-wide productivity program to further streamline, lean out and simplify the Company. The initiative includes two actions. First, with the heavy aerospace investment phase successfully completed, Bombardier will right-size and redeploy its central aerospace engineering team. Key engineering team members will be redeployed to the business segments, with the largest group moving to Business Aircraft, to ensure they have all the necessary capabilities for future business jet development programs.
"Bombardier will also establish a new Advanced Technologies Office (ATO), which will be led by François Caza, who has been appointed Bombardier’s Chief Technology Officer. The ATO will focus on systems design and engineering, including applying experience from Bombardier’s aerospace programs to its rail transportation business.
"In addition to right-sizing and redeploying central engineering, Bombardier has launched a company-wide restructuring initiative focused on optimizing production and management processes, flattening management structures and further reducing indirect costs.
"Collectively, these actions will result in a reduction of approximately 5,000 positions across the organization over the next 12 to 18 months, leading to annualized savings of approximately $250 million at full run rate, which we expect by 2021. Bombardier anticipates recording a restructuring charge in 2019 of approximately the same amount as special items."
Also in the press release, "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to sell its activities consisting of flight and technical training for Bombardier Business Aircraft carried out principally in training centers located in Montréal, Québec, and Dallas, Texas to CAE, a long-time Bombardier training partner. This transaction provides Bombardier’s Business Aircraft customers the benefit of CAE’s training expertise, while Bombardier focuses on aircraft development and services. Concurrently with the sale, Bombardier and CAE have entered into an agreement to extend their Authorized Training Provider (ATP) relationship whereby CAE will prepay all royalties under the agreement. Combined, the total value of both transactions is $800 million, including $645 million for the sale of the training activities. Net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments, we expect net proceeds of approximately $650 million. Closing of the sale transaction is expected by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals."
The release also addressed the sale of the Q400 programme to Longview Aviation Capital Corp., "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of the Q Series aircraft program assets, including aftermarket operations, to a wholly owned subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp., for gross proceeds of approximately $300 million. The agreement covers all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 Series 100, 200 and 300 as well as the Q400 program operations at the Downsview manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. The transaction is expected to close by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Net proceeds for this transaction are expected at approximately $250 million net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments."
On November 8, Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company to Viking Air Limited, agreed to acquire, through an affiliate, the entire Dash 8 programme, including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 programme from Bombardier Inc. Also included as part of the transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transactions. Once completed, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer.
“The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 programme, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 programme. Upon the closing of the transaction, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
Longview will continue to independently operate the programme at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction. The Downsview site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. As part of the transaction Longview also looks forward to welcoming Bombardier employees currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 programme.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
Longview and Bombardier will work closely in the period until the closing of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with no interruption in production, delivery and support of the aircraft.
This transaction builds on Longview’s established track record of acquiring and successfully operating significant aircraft manufacturing, parts and serving programmes including the Twin Otter programme and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 waterbomber series.
The transaction is subject to typical closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals. The sale and transaction are expected to close by the second half of 2019.