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BC based Orca Airways grounded by feds 'in the interest of public safety'

Orca Airways grounded by Transport Canada

2018 03 15

2018 03 15

* Transport Canada cites repeated failures to comply with safety regulations


Orca Airways offers regular flights to Vancouver Island from Vancouver. (Orca Airways)

The federal transportation department has grounded Orca Airways, saying the small B.C. airline has repeatedly failed to comply with safety regulations.

Transport Canada suspended the airline's air operator certificate on Thursday, which means it can no longer provide commercial flights.

"Transport Canada took this enforcement action in the interest of public safety due to Orca Airways' repeated non-compliance with aviation safety regulations," a press release said.

Orca Airways operates routes between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, with regular flights to Tofino, Victoria, Port Alberni and Qualicum Beach.

According to the federal ministry, the airline has failed to meet requirements in areas including maintenance, operational control, documentation and quality assurance.

"Transport Canada will not allow Orca Airways to resume its commercial air service until it proves it can keep its operations consistently compliant with aviation safety regulations," the release said.

Orca has been in the news in the past because of safety issues.

In 2015, an Orca Airways pilot was fired after he overshot the runway in Tofino and then failed to report the error. The company's CEO didn't learn about the incident for days.

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