Auyuittuq Aviation launches helicopter ops on Baffin Island

Auyuittuq Aviation launches helicopter ops on Baffin Island 29 Sep, 11, Source: Discovery Air

Discovery Air Inc. subsidiaries Air Tindi Ltd. and Great Slave Helicopters Ltd. have formed a new partnership – Auyuittuq Aviation – with a group of Inuit shareholders from the Kivalliq and Baffin regions of Nunavut to better serve the needs of the burgeoning mining industry on Baffin Island.

“The mining and exploration industries in Nunavut are growing rapidly and new opportunities are being created almost daily,” said Auyuittuq Aviation President Simon Merkosak. “It is critical that our local businesses also evolve and expand so that we have the resources and expertise to serve these industries if our local and territorial economies, as well as Nunavummiut, are to benefit from this new period of prosperity.”

The majority Inuit-owned joint venture will provide rotary and fixed-wing charter services with minority owners Air Tindi and Great Slave Helicopters conducting all flight operations.

“We are proud to partner with national and industry leaders in the aviation field in this new venture,” added Merkosak. “The expertise of our partners allows us to offer the best of both worlds in the aviation industry drawing on their fleets of approximately 75 helicopters and 21 airplanes.”

Auyuittuq Aviation will primarily operate out of its main office in Iqaluit, the administrative and transportation hub of the Qikiqtaaluk Region. It will focus its efforts on the transportation of workers and freight for the mining and exploration sectors as well as charter work and wildlife surveys for the Government of Nunavut.

“Discovery Air subsidiaries Great Slave Helicopters and Air Tindi have a proven track record operating in the harsh environment of Canada’s North and creating wealth for our Aboriginal partners,” said Discovery Air Executive Vice President Chuck Parker. “We look forward to working with these new Inuit shareholders from the Kivalliq and Baffin regions and Auyuittuq President Simon Merkosak as we strive to build our new venture together.”

Founded in 2004, Discovery Air is a specialty aviation services company operating across Canada and in select locations internationally. With over 130 aircraft, it is one of the largest air operators in Canada, employing more than 600 flight crew, maintainers and support staff to deliver a variety of air transport, maintenance and logistics solutions to a wide range of government, airline and business customers. Discovery Air’s subsidiaries include Top Aces, which delivers airborne training and special mission services to the Canadian military; Hicks & Lawrence, a supplier of airborne fire management services to the Ontario government and charter services to government agencies and corporate customers; Discovery Air Technical Services, which provides a range of aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and certification services; Great Slave Helicopters, one of the largest VFR helicopter operators in the country; Air Tindi, the largest fixed-wing aircraft charter provider based in Northern Canada; Discovery Mining Services, which supplies all-weather exploration camps as well as expediting and logistics support services; and Discovery Air Innovations, the innovations arm of Discovery Air that identifies and captures large, new market opportunities.

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