A Viking Air Twin Otter takes off midway down the runway at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021 during a series of training flights. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

A Viking Air Twin Otter takes off midway down the runway at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021 during a series of training flights. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Viking Air tests Twin Otter at Port Alberni airport

Victoria-based company used rural airport for numerous flights

An aviation company from Victoria has been using the Alberni Valley Regional Airport to test one of its aircraft for Transport Canada certification.

Viking Air crews brought a Twin Otter aircraft to Port Alberni in mid-January for steep-angle approach certification with the federal agency, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District airport superintendent Mark Fortune said. Air crews flew numerous flights over several days.

Viking Air Limited is based in Victoria, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in the Canadian aerospace industry in November 2020. A call to the company was not returned.

RELATED: Vision coming into focus for Port Alberni’s regional airport

RELATED: Viking Air, LAAM secure first water bomber customer

De Havilland first built Twin Otters in 1965 and like its single-engine float plane cousins the Beaver and Otter, is well recognized throughout coastal British Columbia for its capability in the province’s challenging terrain. Viking Air in 2006 obtained the type certificates for de Havilland’s heritage aircraft, including the Beaver and Twin Otters. They now manufacture Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft similar to the one undergoing Transport Canada certification at the AVRA.

Viking Air has a global presence, and Fortune hopes they like Port Alberni’s airport enough to consider building some sort of a facility here. “It would be to the area’s benefit if we did have that organization at the airfield,” he said. The airport already has world-renowned Coulson Aviation operating from the airport, with plans for expansion.

Viking Air did not pay to use the Alberni Valley’s airport for their test flights, Fortune added. The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District does not have a fee bylaw in place for use of the airport.

“We don’t have any way to charge them for something like that,” Fortune said. “But we’re looking at that for 2021.”

That will be part of the visioning process the ACRD’s airport advisory committee is undertaking.

Fortune said a public survey asking people what they want to see happen at the airport “had a good response” as far as he is aware. Results from the survey will be released sometime in February.

“We’ve got a really good facility,” he said. “We’ve had a huge influx of leases this last year,” including a new hangar that has been built. “There’s possibly four more hangars going in. There’s possibly two air maintenance operations that have leased and possibly a flight school.”

There are only three more leasable lots available, and they are spoken for, he added.

“That’s all within a year and a half (of expansion). Those lots have been available for decades.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Alberni ValleyAlberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictaviationPORT ALBERNI

 

Ground observers standing next to the runway watch Viking Air’s Twin Otter make repeated short takeoffs and landings as well as low approaches during a testing phase at Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021. (BILL MCLEOD/Special to the News)

Ground observers standing next to the runway watch Viking Air’s Twin Otter make repeated short takeoffs and landings as well as low approaches during a testing phase at Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021. (BILL MCLEOD/Special to the News)

A Viking Air Twin Otter from Victoria gains altitude on takeoff during a test flight at Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

A Viking Air Twin Otter from Victoria gains altitude on takeoff during a test flight at Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Just Posted

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Victoria police worked to arrest as many people with active warrants as possible during #VicPDWarrantWednesday May 12. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria policemake over 20 arrests during #VicPDWarrantWednesday

Officers were working to locate people with active arrest warrants

Patrick OLeary won $1 million in the March 24 draw of the Lotto 6/49. (BCLC image)
Sooke man cashes $1-million lottery ticket

The excavator operator had to look twice to confirm the win

A partnership is looking to identify skeletal remains that were discovered by recreational divers in the Gorge Waterway this February. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Divers find partial human skull in Gorge Waterway

B.C. Coroner Service determines remains likely historical, not ancestral

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old Nanaimo bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read