Terrace to Masset air service about to start

Yellowknife-based Air Tindi plans three flights a week between Terrace and the Haida Gwaii community

ANOTHER airline is about to fly a scheduled service out of the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace.

As soon as details are worked out with Transport Canada, Yellowknife-based Air Tindi will start a thrice-weekly service to Masset on Haida Gwaii using an 18-passenger Twin Otter aircraft.

Air Tindi is a sister company to Great Slave Helicopters which already has a base at the airport.

“We have had a helicopter presence [in Terrace] since last year and it made sense for fixed wing,” said company vice president Trevor Wever, adding that he expects most passengers will be flying for work related to industrial development in the Terrace area.

“The pipeline activity in the region,” Wever quickly responded when asked what industry growth is driving his decision to operate a Masset-Terrace flight. “And we have several aboriginal partners in that area with our sister company.”

Air Tindi has already flown a Twin Otter to Terrace and it’s available for charter work pending Transport Canada approval for the Terrace-Masset service.

Wever said the company could also bring in smaller aircraft for other charter work.

Masset mayor Andrew Merilees is enthusiastic about the new service to his remote island town and says that it will also open up recreational possibilities for local residents.

“It is fantastic for Haida Gwaii to increase connectivity east to west in the province rather than having everything based out of Vancouver,” said Merilees.

“It’s really positive for islanders to connect to Terrace and the services it offers, including health care and shopping, and for people in Terrace I think it will open up Haida Gwaii as a vacation spot and also the inexpensive housing that is on Haida Gwaii,” he added.

Merillees also hinted that the reduced BC Ferry Service from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii means that a new flight service is a much appreciated additional transportation option.

“It’s great when we have been getting less and less connected to have this in Haida Gwaii,” he said.

Wever said that the reduced ferry service between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii is a coincidental benefit for the service his company plans to provide but was not a consideration in choosing to start the new service.