DDC reaches Care by Air agreement with Halton Healthcare, DSV

Drone Delivery Canada, with the assistance of its sales agent Air Canada, entered into agreements dated June 17, 2022, with each of DSV Air & Sea Inc. Canada and Halton Healthcare Services Corporation to deploy its drone delivery platform to establish an additional transportation link for Oakville Hospital.

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) explains this initiative was developed in collaboration with McMaster University through DSV Air & Sea (DSV) as their current logistics partner. McMaster ‘s expertise in the medical field, explains DDC, will benefit from the learnings collected throughout the project, ultimately interested in integrating drones into the nuclear isotope supply chain.

The anticipated route for this revenue generating pilot project will be between DSV Canada’s head office in Milton, Ontario, and the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Flight will leverage DSV’s existing DroneSpot takeoff and landing infrastructure with additional infrastructure at the hospital. Operations are expected to commence in Q3 2022 for a project duration of six months. DSV’s intra-site route will continue to be operational in parallel.

“We are excited to be on the forefront of this innovative delivery system and look forward to working with our partners to further develop this technology for healthcare,” said Hilary Rodrigues, SVP Corporate Services, Performance & CFO, Halton Healthcare.

(Photo: Drone Delivery Canada)

Huronia Airport Task Force presents its final report

— By Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca

Two-thirds of the Huronia Airport municipal partnership group wants to know exactly what it has and hopes the town of Midland will want to know too.

In April, a public meeting was held by the Huronia Airport Task Force who presented its final report to the three joint-member municipalities: Tiny Township where airport CYEE is located at 20 Ed Connelly Drive, and the neighbouring towns of Midland and Penetanguishene.

Following the highly praised event, the Huronia Airport Commission (HAC) recognized that to keep with industry best practices, a comprehensive survey of the airport and its key features would be required in moving forward.

The one-time cost of the project was estimated at $60,000 plus HST, an amount that the HAC was requesting councils provide as divided by their portions: Tiny Township was asked to provide $14,916 or 22 per cent of the amount; Penetanguishene was asked for $18,984 or 28 per cent; with Midland to be asked for $33,900 or 50 per cent of the full amount.

At a recent regular meeting of Tiny council, planning and development director Shawn Persaud provided an overview of the HAC request, explaining that while parts of reference plans were available for the property, a complete survey had never been made.

“We had gone out for quotes from surveying companies with regards to a survey of the property,” said Persaud, “which would be a boundary survey – (that would also) pick up all the existing buildings and structures, the runway, the road allowance, any above-ground utilities – in order to move forward with some of the other initiatives that the task force wants to proceed with.”

Tiny CAO Robert Lamb suggested that the request be accepted on the contingency that Penetanguishene and Midland councils also accept the HAC ask, which appealed to Tiny council. Director of finance/treasurer Haley Leblond informed council that the $14,916 request, extraneous to the 2022 airport budget, would be drawn from infrastructure reserves if carried.

Support from Tiny council was granted, with the question raised if the full survey was required all at once in the beginning; Persaud replied that although segmenting the survey area was discussed by the task force, their consensus to do the entirety of the property was critical.

“There’s definitely efficiencies to do the whole property at once,” said Persaud. “I think with some of the other studies that are required for further development and investigation, like environmental and engineering, that will be chunked off into specific sections.”

Tiny council approved the request.

Hours later, the matter came before Penetanguishene at their committee of the whole meeting. Coun. Dan La Rose summarized the request of the three municipal partners.

“(The report was presented) as: ‘it’s a great big project, a great big area, it’s different because it’s owned by all three municipalities, but this is going to be our first start,’” said La Rose. “We need to know what we own, what we have, where it is, and what we can do with the leftover properties.”

Other members of the committee praised the HAC in their efforts, including Coun. George Vadeboncoeur who looked at the survey as core information required.

“Undertaking this comprehensive land survey is fundamental to the airport,” said Vadeboncoeur, “and once all those features are identified, they have a legal survey on which to make further decisions on the future of the airport.”

Penetanguishene CAO Jeff Lees informed the committee that Tiny Township had added the tri-party agreement contingency and passed the request earlier in the day. He also noted that staff recommended the service-related $18,984 amount be funded through the town’s service delivery review reserve.

It was carried by the Penetanguishene committee of the whole, to return for formal discussion and final decision at the July 13 regular meeting of council.

Midland council will discuss the $33,900 request by the HAC at their next regular meeting on June 15.

(Photo: Huronia Airport)

Tier 1 completes first flight of Robinson 44 with magniX electric propulsion

Tier 1 Engineering, specialists in the design and development of electric aircraft, achieved a first flight of an all-electric Robinson 44 helicopter with a magniX electric propulsion unit on June 4. The flight lasted for approximately three minutes at Los Alamitos Army Airfield, California.

Tier 1 is developing the all-electric Robinson R44 for Lung Biotechnology PBC, a biotech company on a mission to address the shortage of transplantable organs in the U.S. Tier 1 Engineering integrated its battery system and the magniX Electric Propulsion Unit (EPU) on the helicopter.

“magniX has been powering all-electric aircraft since December of 2019, and this flight represents another first for the company as we have now electrified a rotary aircraft,” said Nuno Taborda, CEO, magniX.

Tier 1 Engineering is currently working with the FAA Aircraft Certification Office in Los Angeles on the e-R44 project to obtain a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). Lung Biotechnology PBC plans to acquire a fleet of aircraft to fly transplant organs.

“This historic flight, of an all-electric helicopter with a certifiable electric engine, was an important step towards obtaining aircraft certification,” said Glen Dromgoole, President of Tier 1 Engineering.

(Photo: Tier 1, magniX)

Flight Line, Canadian Harvards, Waterloo Warbirds hold formation clinic

— Text and photos by Gus and Clara Corujo

The Canadian Formation Clinic took place from June 8 to 10, 2022, hosted by Flight Line Services and collaborated between Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association and Waterloo Warbirds at CYKF Waterloo International Airport.

The Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team also participated in the event portion tied to the Canadian Formation Clinic Harvard Training. This included six Harvard aircraft, three from the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association out of Tillsonburg, one from the Waterloo Warbirds and two privately owned.

The Harvard aircraft is a single-engine, advanced trainer designed by North American Aviation. It was used in Canada during the Second World War under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The Harvard is one of the most famous and successful trainers of all time.

The grounds of the three days clinic were to train and recertify pilots from across Canada on the Formation and Safety Team (FAST) standard.

View more photos of the Harvard formation event.

View more photos of the Flight Line formation event.

STARS welcomes new helicopter to Grande Prairie

— By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News (Photo: Jesse Boily)

STARS welcomed its new H145 helicopter to the STARS base in Grande Prairie last Wednesday, May 25.

The $13 million aircraft is part of the STARS fleet renewal replacing the previous BK117 and AW139 aircraft.

The event was attended by over 100 people and included many local leaders, EMS personnel, and STARS’ previous patients and crew.

“If you try to compare that we were driving a vehicle that’s almost 40 years old compared to what we would have available to us today, then you know the significant technology and the safety features are leaps and bounds from what we previously had,” said Glenda Farnden, STARS senior municipal relations liaison.

“This machine is going to really take us forward for many generations to come,” she said.

Some residents may have seen the new red helicopter in the sky above for the past month, as it has been actively helping patients in the area since last week and has been training with a crew in Grande Prairie over the last few months.

“These new aircraft are an investment in our ability to serve the people of Grande Prairie and region for decades to come, and we’re incredibly grateful to the community for helping us reach our goal,” said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson.

She noted that parts have become costly and harder to find with the aging helicopters.

“The bulk of our aging fleet is no longer being built and is becoming costlier to maintain,” she said.

“I am thankful for STARS, and I know that every family that has been impacted by a life-changing tragedy is thankful when STARS shows up,” said Chris Warkentin, Grande Prairie—Mackenzie MP.

He said it was essential to continue to raise money and awareness of STARS “because we care about the person who takes for granted today, the person who doesn’t know that they will need it tomorrow.”

Farnden says the new helicopter has been a long time coming, with the fleet campaign taking off in Grande Prairie in September 2019.

“The September 2019 kickoff really did help to engage all of our local municipalities as well as our local oil and gas sector industry and lots of individuals,” she said.

She noted that Birchcliff Energy donated $2 million to STARS, with $1.5 million going toward the new helicopter.

Local municipalities have also made contributions to STAR and the new ambulance.

The County of Grande Prairie gifted $500,000 in Feb. 2020 towards the H145 helicopter.

The Town of Sexsmith donates $2 per capita in the town equaling about $5420 per year, and in Sept. 2021 the town donated an additional $5,000 towards the new helicopter.

Northern Lights announces 2022 Elsie Award recipients

(Photo: Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Air Canada)

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation announced the 2022 recipients of its annual Elsie MacGill Awards, which honour Canadian women who have made outstanding contributions in aviation and aerospace.

“We’re thrilled to be honouring these eight women in aviation and aerospace this year,” said Kathleen Lang, President of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation. Named after aviation pioneer and human rights advocate Elsie Gregory MacGill, the award recognizes outstanding women across seven categories, including: business, education, engineering, flight operations, government, trailblazer, and rising star.

The 2022 Northern Lights Aero Foundation’s 2022 Elsie Award recipients, who will be honoured at a gala dinner on October 22, 2022, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, include:

Business Award – Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Air Canada’s Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Affairs

Education Award – Stéphanie Angrand, instructor at Canadian Forces leadership and recruit school in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec

Engineering Award – Damineh Akhavan, Founder and CEO of Global Women in STEM Inc.

Flight Operations Award – Kim Winsor, Training Captain, Air Canada

Government Award – Gisele Garceau, engineer, commercial pilot and flight instructor

Trailblazer Award – Marlene Shillingford, Chief Warrant Officer, Canadian Armed Forces

Rising Star Award – Donya Naz Divsalar, Master of Sciences Candidate with the Aerospace Physiology Laboratory, Simon Fraser University

Rising Star Award – Zainab Azim, UNOOSA Space4Women Mentor


Drone Delivery Canada begins cargo routes at Edmonton International

Drone Delivery Canada on May 26, 2022, began the commercial operation of a previously announced program with Edmonton International Airport. The program will be operational for a 12-month term.

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) will oversee defined-route deliveries from Edmonton International Airport (EIA) to off-airport property using its Sparrow drone, as well as proprietary DroneSpot takeoff and landing zones and FLYTE software.

“Edmonton International Airport is a leader in drone operations at airports and we’re proud to be the first airport in Canada to have commercial drone delivery services in full operation,” said Myron Keehn, Vice President, Air Service, Business Development, ESG and Government Relations, EIA. “Our partnership with DDC is helping create a flight path forward for this growing industry and we know there is tremendous potential still ahead.”

DDC explains the program will transport a variety of cargo for Ziing Final Mile and Apple Express, located in the industrial park in Leduc County, Alberta. “With us now moving to full drone commercial operations at EIA we’ll begin to see how drone technology can supplement and enhance deliveries within the last mile space,” said Chris Higham, President and CEO of Ziing.

DDC explains it has received an upfront fee for the drone route deployed and that it will also receive a monthly fee for professional managed services. This is DDC’s first international airport drone solution, through the assistance of its sales agent Air Canada.

Flights will be remotely monitored by DDC from its Operations Control Centre located in Vaughan, Ontario.

(Photo: Drone Delivery Canada)

Runway work begins at Thunder Bay Airport

– By Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal

After 18 months of planning and consultations, the Thunder Bay Airport’s main runway is undergoing a $20.4-million rehabilitation.

Construction on runway 725 began on May 16 and is expected to conclude on Oct. 15. More than half a dozen contractors are working on the project. Of these contractors, two are from an outside source due to specific airport requirements and complexities.

Ryan Brading, the airport service manager, says the improvements will incorporate the latest technology, increase the life of the runway, create environmental sustainability and increase aviation safety.

“The runway is getting repaved with 150 millimetres of new asphalt that we are milling and applying on top,” Brading said. “We’re doing some reflective crack repair and there’s quite a bit of it actually, under the runway, so we’re employing some glass grid technology to seal the asphalt so that the reflective cracks don’t form.”

More than five kilometres of electrical cables and conduit will be replaced. All of the runway edge lights, which are incandescent halogen lights, and all the signage will be replaced with LED technology.

“This is the first high-intensity LED runway edge lights that we’ve seen at our airport, “ he said. They will increase visibility for pilots and reduce power consumption.”

A sub-drain system that runs the entire perimeter of the runway between eight to 10-feet below ground will also be replaced.

The main runway itself will not be lengthened in the project.

“I wish we could. But we’re not,” Brading said.

“There are restrictions. We have a railway to the west and a highway to the east and that’s as big as it’s going to get — [7,318 feet]. We are reducing its width from 200 feet wide down to 150 feet.”

He added that they will still be able to serve the same level of service for aircraft and there will be less asphalt that has to be maintained and cleared of snow.

Issues at Pearson International Airport that are strictly related to passenger flow on the terminal side are not connected with the construction at the Thunder Bay Airport.

“We are experiencing the same staffing issues with our security staff as well, so we feel the pain,” Brading said.

“The Canadian Air Transportation Authority challenges and the backups happening in the terminal building in Pearson, are completely unrelated and not affected to our construction operations.”

Meanwhile, aircraft traffic remains the same with planes using secondary runway 1230. Some airlines, like Flair, chose not to land in

Thunder Bay during the construction while others alternated their aircraft to accommodate the shorter runway.

In preparation for the disruption on the tarmac, consultation with all airlines that fly into Thunder Bay took place well in advance of the work being done.

Brading says all airlines work well on the shorter, crosswind runway with set plans and approaches for things like thunderstorms, cloud cover, and weather conditions that will always affect flights.

At least 50 per cent of the funding for the improvements was provided by Transport Canada’s airports capital assistance program (ACAP) fund, which some airports are eligible for based on passenger numbers.

“Because of COVID, we had significant passenger reductions which actually enabled us to qualify for funding. It’s really good news for the airport and it’s the first major capital project like this that’s ever been funded by ACAP,” he said.

When the work is finished, Brading says Thunder Bay will have a new runway with the latest in airfield technology and infrastructure that will last for more than 25 years.

(Photo: P199, Thunder Bay International Airports Authority)

Royal Canadian Air Force Foundation awards 50 youth scholarships

The Royal Canadian Air Force Foundation on June 6, 2022, announced it has provided scholarship funding to 50 recipients to help drive Canada’s next generation of leaders in aviation and aerospace.

The foundation explains its scholarship program is designed to encourage Canadian youth, 25 years of age or younger, to enter studies in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, leading to future careers in aviation or aerospace. Canadians from across the country applied for the scholarships by, in part, providing insight into their career aspirations.

Each scholarship is valued at $1,000 and is supported by corporate leaders including Air Canada, BMO, CAE, CIBC, JDS Group of Companies as well as Hamilton International Airport and the Winnipeg Jets, among others.

For the full list of recipients, visit the RCAF Foundation website.