Cascadia Air, British Columbia’s newest commuter airline has opted to forego the launch of its commercial air-taxi flights to instead provide Rapid Emergency Air Delivery (READY) services to support smaller remote communities across BC, as they slowly recover from the social and economic disruptions caused by COVID-19.
With more than three decades of commercial aviation, medical, air ambulance and crisis management experience, the airline’s senior staff began these initiatives in late February with the goal of supporting BC residents during one of the most challenging periods in recent history.
Cascadia Air’s READY services comprise separate aircraft dedicated to carrying personnel and cargo supplies capable of landing in remote communities and smaller unpaved airstrips. Flights transporting essential personnel are maximized at 60 percent of the aircraft’s seating capacity to allow for continued safe distancing between passengers.
Although the province will begin easing its social policies as it restarts its economy, Cascadia will still maintain its physical distancing and safety guidelines as prescribed by Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada until further notice, including the thorough cleaning of each aircraft before and after each flight.
Cascadia Air has also received significant support from a growing network of similar small commercial air carriers and local community partners that is prepared to provide more timely and expansive services to these towns and remote communities across British Columbia.
“COVID-19 is a global crisis with an unprecedented impact on all of us. This is a time where we all need to step up and help others, however we can,” said Jeremy Barrett, COO and Chief Pilot of Cascadia Air. “At this time, our only focus is making our READY services available to support towns and remote communities across BC. Even as the province plans to reopen its economy in the coming weeks, we believe it will take much longer for certain supply chains and services to go back to normal and this crisis is unfortunately far from over.”