Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre Releases Findings of Independent Safety Review of Its Operations

VANCOUVER, Nov. 23, 2011 /CNW/ -Today the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (VHFC) released the findings of an independent safety report it had commissioned for its float plane terminal operation. To conduct this review, VHFC retained The Glosten Associates, an internationally renowned marine engineering firm, and float plane aviation expert Gord Stevens.

"Concerns raised regarding the ability of VHFC to provide safe, efficient and effective services for float plane operators at its facility in Coal Harbour are absolutely false," said Paul McElligottt, President and COO of Ledcor Transportation and Resources.

"Particularly after the incident that occurred on November 5th involving a float plane used in an unrelated safety review, it was important to VHFC to cut through the rhetoric of our detractors that has been reported in the media and present a factual and independent assessment of the facility that can help bring this impasse to a close," he said.

"Comments regarding Ledcor's safety practices and the safety of its operations are taken very seriously and an Incident Report produced by our own Health and Safety personnel showed 1) the dock facility was not responsible for the float plane taking on water and 2) that the root cause likely had to do with a leaking starboard float on the plane and the plane being docked at full load capacity for over 36 hours," he pointed out.

"And now, this independent safety review commissioned by VHFC has found that the facility's design, engineering and construction has resulted in a float plane facility that is world class and that the Safety Management System employed at the site should be the industry standard for all float plane facilities" he concluded.

VHFC commissioned a comprehensive, independent assessment of its flight centre and the related operating procedures. The review included analysis of how the dock and aircraft moored to it responded to varying wave and weather conditions, and reviewed the operating procedures for pilots and deck personnel.

The authors of the safety review included engineers from The Glosten Associates, a Seattle firm that delivers engineering and consulting services to members of the Marine Community to help them meet the challenges they encounter in the marine environment. The aviation expert involved in the review was Gord Stevens, a pilot now employed by Air Canada, with over 17,500 float plane hours to his credit and twelve years of float plane operations and training experience in BC, the Northwest Territories, Turkey and the Maldives.

Vancouver Harbour Flight Center LP (VHFC), is a partnership between Harbour Navigation and the Ledcor Group for the construction and operation of a $22 million float plane dock and terminal facilities located in Coal Harbour adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC). VHFC was designed and built to meet the needs of seaplane operators and the rigorous standards set by VCC that reflect the contemporary aesthetic of Vancouver Harbour.

Please see attached backgrounder


VHFC Backgrounder - Summary Findings of Independent Safety Review

Summary Findings of Independent Safety Review:

(excerpts from floatplane aviation expert Gordon Stevens)

  • The dock appears to be as reasonable and appropriate to use as any other when responsible judgement is exercised.

  • The length, width and height of the dock and the markings on it appear to be very conducive to operations in terms of safety and general usability.

  • The dock - and the facility in general - appears to above what, in my experience, would represent standard industry practices in construction and organization

  • Incorporating the VHFC safety management system into operations will promote a healthy and professional working environment between operators and authorities.


SOURCE Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre

For further information:

Lee Coonfer
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
The Ledcor Group
(604) 833-5111

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Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre

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