Air Taxi Floatplane Operations Workshop Brings B.C. Operators Together

Following months of planning, British Columbia-based floatplane operators, other industry representatives, aviation associations, safety advocates, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Transport Canada (TC) participated in an air taxi floatplane operations workshop on October 6 and 7, 2010, in Richmond, B.C.

The workshop, hosted by the TC Pacific Region, was created to identify and address safety concerns regarding commercial floatplane operations in the region, and to discuss the results of findings and recommendations from various accident investigations. The main objectives of the workshop were to:

  • establish an environment for all commercial floatplane operators in the Pacific Region to openly discuss issues that are important to them as individual operators and as a collective;

  • create the opportunity for dialogue on passenger safety and floatplane operations including passenger briefings, emergency egress, personal floatation devices (PFD), aircraft dispatch and flight following; and,

  • facilitate the organizing of an association that could provide a venue for promoting sharing of information, resources, best practices and establishing a collective voice to represent commercial floatplane operators in the Pacific Region.

In addition to the issues mentioned above, more key topics were discussed openly and honestly, such as operational challenges, solutions, safety culture, risk management strategies, provision of weather information and several testimonials of real situations experienced in the Pacific Region floatplane environment.

At the end of the two-day event, the following key outcomes were achieved:

  • a date was set for the operators to meet and formalize an association;

  • a first draft mission statement describing the purpose of the association was created;

  • a method of conducting common messaging that better represents the floatplane industry as a group was developed;

  • there was a collective recognition of the benefits of working together;

  • resources were shared to identify and address safety concerns; and,

  • a framework was provided for TC to conduct additional workshops in other regions.

“This workshop was essential to further develop relationships between Transport Canada and air taxi floatplane operators in B.C.,” said David Nowzek, Regional Director of Civil Aviation. “I thank the operators for their continued support and cooperation as we combine our efforts to further improve the safety of floatplane operations in Canada.”

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