April 07, 2008
In making the presentation to Taquan president and CEO Brien Salazar, Medallion Foundation executive director Dennis Ward explained that the industry driven program is a step-by-step approach to aviation practices that includes process guidelines and specific training and courses for participating airlines. "The Medallion program confirms the company's commitment to safety and the professionalism of their employees", said Ward. With the receipt of the fifth star, Taquan is very close to receiving the coveted Medallion Shield Award. The only other carriers in the State of Alaska with the shield are Alaska Airlines, ERA Aviation, and Pen Air. Taquan would be the first FAA Part 135 operator in the state to achieve this accomplishment, according to Ward.
The five stars in the Medallion program are awarded for controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) avoidance, operational control, safety program, internal audit program, and maintenance/ground service. With completion of the program, Taquan Air has received recognition for implementing safety standards that exceed Federal Aviation Administration regulatory requirements. The company is one of several airlines statewide to achieve top Medallion recognition. Participation in the program is voluntary. Taquan is the only Ketchikan based carrier with all 5 stars.
The federally funded Medallion program is dedicated to improving air safety in Alaska. After reviewing the results after four years of operation, former FAA chief Marion Blakely stated "this is truly something that saves lives. What you are doing here is pioneering work. Alaska is working very hard to raise the safety bar." Blakely also said that she would like to see the program expanded to the Lower 48. "You are at the forefront of a number of technologies that are not being employed elsewhere," she said.
Taquan Air has also installed Capstone avionics in its fleet of 8 DeHavilland Beaver floatplanes, providing electronic terrain mapping and instant weather information for pilots. Taquan provides year-round scheduled service to 18 communities in S.E. Alaska, provides Misty Fjords flightseeing adventures, operates the U.S. Forest Service Fixed Wing Contract, and provides aircraft maintenance programs for several other operators in the Ketchikan area.
Taquan Air's new facility is located at Harbor Point Business Park, 4085 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan.
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