West Coast Air

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Hubs Vancouver Harbour Aerodrome
Secondary hubs Vancouver Int'l Aerodrome
Victoria Inner Harbour Airport
Nanaimo Harbour Aerodrome
Fleet size 17
Destinations 7
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia
Website www.westcoastair.com

West Coast Air is a scheduled airline operating de Havilland Canada float planes, with scheduled flights from downtown Vancouver and the Richmond Floatplane base at Vancouver International Airport to Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, the Sunshine Coast, and Whistler. The company also flies tours and private charters.


West Coast Air was originally the float plane division of Air BC. Rick Baxter, a commercial pilot, became a partner in 1998, and bought West Coast Air outright in 2004.[citation needed]

In August 2006, West Coast Air acquired the assets of Pacific Wings Airlines, expanding its routes.[citation needed]

On April 20, 2007, West Coast Air completed the purchase of Baxter Aviation, adding a further 9 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver aircraft to its fleet, and increasing its number of employees to over 150.[citation needed]

On April 30, 2010 Harbour Air completed its purchase of the assets of West Coast Air, but has continued to operate flights under the West Coast Air name.[citation needed]


A West Coast Air De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter (2011).

Destinations as of February 2010:[2]


A West Coast Air float plane landing on Vancouver's waterfront

On November 30, 2009, the West Coast Air fleet consisted of 17 aircraft:

West Coast Air
Aircraft Count Variants Notes
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 6[3] 100/200 series 18 passengers
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver 11[3] DHC-2/DHC-2 MK. I 6 passengers


  • On 1 November 2000 a company de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter had just departed the Vancouver Harbour Water Aerodrome en route to Victoria when its number 2 engine failed at 50 to 100 ft (15 to 30 m). Even though the aircraft was being flown above VMC it impacted the water about 25 seconds later in a nose-down, right wing-low attitude. The two crew members and 15 passengers all escaped unharmed and were rescued by local watercraft present in the harbour. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada concluded that "Since most air taxi and commuter operators use their own aircraft rather than a simulator for pilot proficiency training, higher-risk emergency scenarios can only be practiced at altitude and discussed in the classroom. As a result, pilots do not gain the benefit of a realistic experience during training." As a result of this accident the company revised its training programs with "increased emphasis on aircraft handling and emergency procedures in response to loss of power at low altitude and low airspeed."[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Airlinecodes.co.uk (November 2008). "The Airline Codes Web Site". Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  2. ^ West Coast Air (September 2009). "Route Map". Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  3. ^ a b West Coast Air (February 2010). "About". Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  4. ^ Transportation Safety Board of Canada (November 2000). "Aviation Investigation Report Loss of Power and Collision with Water West Coast Air de Havilland DHC-6". Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  5. ^ Aviation Safety Network (August 2003). "Accident description". Retrieved 2010-02-11. 

External links[edit]