Beaudel grounded
Working to regain operating certificate

Daniel MacIsaac
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Jan 21/00) - Inuvik charter company Beaudel Air Ltd. has been grounded after its operating certificate was suspended.

Dick Laird, regional manager of aircraft maintenance and manufacturing with the civil aviation directorate wing of Transport Canada in Edmonton, said Monday the certificate was suspended at the end of last month.

"In routine checks several anomalies were discovered in late November -- not meeting our standards," he said, "and since then Transport Canada has been working closely with Beaudel to resume operations as quickly as possible."

Laird said safety audits first resulted in the removal of several of Beaudel's nine aircraft from active service and then led Transport Canada to examine the way the company kept its safety-related records.

"Due to issues discovered during the safety audit, several deficiencies were noted," he said.

Laird said Transport Canada and Beaudel agreed on a 30-day period over December in which Beaudel had to rectify the problems, but that it proved too short.

"They weren't able to meet some of the time-lines and they lost the certificate that would allow them to operate as a company," Laird said, "and now they're working closely with us to get operations in place ... we're in daily contact with them and look forward to getting them back in the air."

Laird stressed that Transport Canada's primary concerns are safety and safety of the public.

"I want to emphasize that we've been in constant contact with them and they have detailed to us an action plan that they need time to implement," he said.

David Hindson owns and operates the company. He declined to comment.

Willard Hagen was owner of Beaudel until he sold the airport operations to Hindson on Oct. 1. Now based only at Shell Lake, Hagen said he'll soon be launching a new air charter, with a new name, and focus on the adventure-tourism market. He said Tuesday that what is happening between Beaudel and Transport Canada must involve paperwork.

"If it was safety infractions, they would have been shut down immediately," he said.