March 31, 2004
Last fall, Taquan Air became a voluntary participant in the Alaska Air Carrier Medallion program, which establishes higher standards of operations for participating Alaskan air carriers through research, education, auditing and advocacy. The program embraces maintenance and ground operations, safety procedures, risk management and pilot simulator training, said Salazar. "Medallion in unlike anything else in the country . . . what the program is doing is very pioneering work', according to Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey.
Earlier this year, Taquan Air became the first Ketchikan based carrier to adopt the new FAA Capstone safety program, which involves the installation of a global positioning system based avionics package in each of the company's DeHavilland Beaver floatplanes. This advanced technology equipment will provide Taquan Air pilots with situational awareness of terrain topography and the location of of other aircraft in difficult weather conditions, said Salazar. Completion of Capston equipment installion and related pilot training is planned by early May.
Award of this contract is important to the success of Taquan Air. It enables us to keep mechanics, pilots and support staff employed all year and to keep the infrastructure in place to provide year-round scheduled passenger, freight and mail service to 18 communities from Ketchikan. This includes northern Prince of Wales island routes that were vacated by another carrier this spring, Salazar stated. The company also has flightseeing contracts with the major cruise lines during the summer months.
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