• STR SpeechTech posted an article
    Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS/VOLMET) at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). see more

    VICTORIA, BC, CANADA – August 24, 2020.  STR-SpeechTech Ltd. (STR) is proud to announce that it has been contracted to supply its industry-leading StarCaster aviation broadcasting platform to fulfill the need for a new Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS/VOLMET) at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). This contract is a critical component of the airport’s development plan to meet future traffic growth through the construction of a new runway to facilitate the operation of a Three-runway System (3RS) at HKIA.


    The StarCaster solution for HKIA consolidates both ATIS and En-route ATIS (also known as VOLMET) into a single modern and maintainable platform. The system will automatically produce and broadcast separate Arrival and Departure ATIS messages on discrete VHF frequencies, each containing critical information for pilots. This will include the latest weather observations and airport operational information as well as ICAO’s new Global Reporting Format (GRF) for runway conditions. Simultaneously, the system will produce and broadcast an En-route ATIS message, both continuously over VHF and on a scheduled basis over HF. For both the ATIS and En-route ATIS broadcasts, StarCaster’s exclusive Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology will be utilized to convert textual information into a voice message (male & female) of the highest-quality that pilots can easily understand. In addition to the ATIS and En-route ATIS voice messages, StarCaster will automatically generate a textual copy of these messages (D-ATIS/D-VOLMET) and transmit them upon request to ACARS-equipped aircraft through the datalink provider’s network.


    The StarCaster system for HKIA involves an intricate ATIS/VOLMET software and hardware deployment to be implemented and integrated into HKIA tower operations. The solution will be deployed as a segregated Main and Fallback system, each of which utilize a high-availability virtualized environment that facilitates data sharing and synchronization. This configuration will ensure the continuity of system operations even in the case of multiple failures or a significant disaster. StarCaster will be integrated with no less than 13 external systems for the bi-directional exchange of broadcast messages (voice & text), weather data, system performance and status information, statistics, and more. Users will interact with the system using the web-based StarCaster Human Machine Interface (HMI) from any of the planned 30 dedicated workstations located throughout the airport and air traffic control facilities. The majority of these workstations will also have a self-contained version of the StarCaster software installed, which will allow broadcasting operations to continue in the very unlikely case of a total system failure.  Additionally, a Test and Development (TDS) system will be provided which will mirror the operational system and which can be used for the training of personnel and for testing new software or system configurations over the operational lifespan of the system.


    The process of putting a new runway into operations at one of the world’s busiest international airports is multifaceted, and as a result the implementation of StarCaster will be equally complex. 


    We are pleased and excited to have been selected as the preferred supplier of D-ATIS and D-VOLMET for HKIA,” said Craig Dickson (President and CEO of STR-SpeechTech Ltd). “StarCaster’s renowned reliability and natural voice quality, combined with its secure technology and flexible platform, contribute uniquely to its capability to meet HKIA’s complex requirements.


    STR expects to deliver one of the most advanced and integrated D-ATIS/D-VOLMET systems available, which is ideally suited for HKIA’s current and future demands.


    About STR-SpeechTech Ltd.


    STR-SpeechTech is the leading supplier of text-to-speech systems for mission-critical broadcasting applications. STR’s StarCaster text-to-speech systems are deployed throughout the world at Air Traffic Control Towers and Flight Service Stations, where the ability to generate clear and consistent aviation information broadcasts in a natural voice is a key component of operational efficiency and safety. Located in Victoria, Canada, STR has been dedicated to meeting our customers' needs for over 30 years.


    For more information, contact:


    Joe McNally, Director of Business Development

    Phone: +1 250 477 0544 (GMT-8)

    Email: info@speechtech.com

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The ultra-low fare airline adds increased service, including Victoria see more

    The ultra-low fare airline adds increased service and three new destinations to its network, including Victoria

    CALGARY, AB – Dec. 13, 2019 – Today, Swoop, Canada’s ultra-low-fare airline and subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., released its 2020 summer schedule, announcing increased service and three new destinations. Starting in April 2020, Swoop’s newest routes will take travellers to two new domestic destinations including Victoria, Kamloops, and one U.S. destination, San Diego.

    With summer being a busy travel season for Canadians, Swoop is also increasing its weekly frequency service between many markets including Hamilton to Winnipeg, Edmonton to Abbotsford, and Abbotsford to Winnipeg.

    ”In only 18 months, Swoop has experienced significant growth, and we are excited to continue this momentum with the release of our 2020 summer schedule,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “By introducing Swoop to more markets, we are achieving our mission of providing Canadians with accessible summer travel opportunities throughout North America.”

    Highlights of Swoop’s 2020 summer schedule includes service between:

    • Edmonton-Kamloops up to four times weekly
    • Winnipeg-London up to four times weekly
    • Winnipeg-Victoria up to five times weekly
    • Edmonton-San Diego up to three times weekly
    • Edmonton-Abbotsford from 16 times weekly, to 24 times weekly
    • Hamilton-Winnipeg, from six times weekly, to 10 times weekly
    • Abbotsford to Winnipeg, from four times weekly, to daily

    Since its June 2018 launch, Swoop’s summer network has grown to serve 14 domestic, 10 transborder and four international markets, rapidly expanding the airline’s network across North America. Fulfilling a need in the Canadian marketplace, Swoop continues to make a positive impact on the aviation industry, becoming Canada’s leading domestic, transborder and international ultra-low-cost carrier, with the new schedule set to increase Swoop’s frequency to 328 ultra-low fare weekly flights.

    “We are very pleased to welcome Swoop to Victoria International Airport with new service to Winnipeg,” said Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority.  “We are one of the lowest cost airports in Canada and that makes us a natural fit with the low-cost business model of Swoop. We look forward to a growing partnership and welcome the new destination and travel options for our local community and visitors to our region.”   

    “We’re glad to see Swoop’s growth plan includes increased service for Edmonton International Airport,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport. “We look forward to more flights both for the Edmonton Metro Region and for other communities to come here and experience our great area.”

    “Winnipeg Richardson International Airport travellers will have more options this summer thanks to two new direct routes from Swoop,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO, Winnipeg Airports Authority. “We are pleased to grow our partnership with Swoop as they continue to expand our community’s connectivity, giving travellers new places to discover and bringing more people to Winnipeg to explore everything our city has to offer.”

    “Expanding flight services and destinations continues to be a priority for us at San Diego International Airport,” said Kim Becker, President and CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “We are proud and excited to welcome Swoop with service to Edmonton as our newest travel destination, bringing even more offerings to our passengers in San Diego and Canada.”

    “We are very pleased to welcome Swoop to Kamloops Airport this coming summer season,” said Ed Ratuski, Managing Director, Kamloops Airport. “The return of service between Kamloops and Edmonton will be welcomed by our community and offer great opportunities for adventures on both ends of the route.”

    Swoop’s unbundled model ensures fares remain ultra-low, with a base fare that starts with just the seat, giving travellers the power to add the things they want, and nothing they don’t.

    Flights are now available for booking through until October 24, 2020. To learn more about Swoop’s destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit FlySwoop.com or connect with Swoop on FacebookTwitterInstagram.


    About Swoop  

    Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering point-to-point scheduled service to 20 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire. 

    Swoop operates a modern fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Swoop’s mobile app allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.   For more details on Swoop, visit FlySwoop.com


    For Swoop media relations, please contact:

    Shauna MacDonald

    403-585-4570; 403-538-5645


  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Viking Air has signed an agreement that brings Ansett Aviation Training of Melbourne, Australia... see more

    Source: AirMedAndRescue.com

    Training centre endorsed for CL-415 aerial firefighting aircraft

    Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada has signed an agreement that brings Ansett Aviation Training of Melbourne, Australia, into the Amphibious Aircraft Division support network, joining Viking’s sister-company Pacific Sky Aviation Inc. as the second factory-endorsed training centre (FETC) for the Viking CL-415 aerial firefighting aircraft.

    As part of the agreement, Ansett will invest in the development of what Viking said will be the first ever level D full flight simulator for the CL-415, which will be supplied by TRU Simulation + Training and installed at a new state-of-the-art training centre at Milan-Malpensa Airport, Italy, in 2018.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Viking Air’s Twin Otters may soon be flying around Brazil after the Victoria company received... see more

    Source: Times Colonist

    Viking wins Twin Otter certification in Brazil

    Victoria, BC (November 1, 2016) - Viking Air’s Twin Otters may soon be flying around Brazil after the Victoria company received certification from that country to allow the aircraft to enter the market.

    Viking sees great potential in the largest South American country. “The Series 400 Twin Otter is the perfect solution for the remote areas of Brazil as it can provide essential air transportation to areas lacking infrastructure development,” said David Caporali, Viking’s regional sales director for Latin America. “The Series 400 platform is ideally suited for the harsh operating conditions that Brazil presents, and we are confident it will prove itself to be the aircraft of choice for commercial and government operations alike.”

    Viking said the Brazilian government’s intention is to foster regional air transport links to remote locations in the country, and that bodes well for sales.

    Viking sells its Twin Otter aircraft into 29 countries. Since it launched the 400 series, Viking has sold 125, and on average completes a new one every 15 days. It’s most recent sale was to the government of Panama’s Servicio Nacional Aeronaval Air Group. Viking will deliver one aircraft in the next few weeks.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A Nepalese airline is buying three new Twin Otters airplanes produced by Viking Air. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Carla Wilson

    A Nepalese airline is buying three new Twin Otters airplanes produced by Viking Air, based on the Saanich Peninsula.

    The aircraft will be delivered to Kathmandu-based Tara Air between September and early 2017.

    Each of the new Series 400 planes has a base price of about $7 million.

    Tara Air already flies Series 400 Twin Otters, as well as Twin Otters manufactured earlier by de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd.

    Between 1965 and 1988, de Havilland produced about 800 of the turboprop aircraft.

    Viking Air brought the Twin Otter back into production in 2007 and delivered its first in 2010. The aircraft is used around the world and is valued for its ability to operate in rugged conditions.

    Peter Walker, Viking’s regional sales manager for Africa, the Middle East and Asia, said for Tara Air to buy more new Twin Otters is a “testament to the quality of the aircraft and its ability to reliably operate in the remote regions of Nepal.”

    So far, more than 125 new Twin Otters have been sold to 29 countries.

    Viking has manufacturing facilities in North Saanich and in Calgary.

    Tara Air is expanding its service in remote rural areas of Nepal, Viking said in a statement. Company officials are attending the Farnborough International Airshow in England.

    Viking also announced that it will not put its new Twin Otter flight simulator and training facility in Victoria as expected, but will instead install it in Calgary.

    The simulator will be ready for customers in March 2017, the company said.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Viking Air Ltd. has bought the manufacturing rights for Bombardier’s waterbombers. see more

    Source: Times Colonist (with files from Canadian Press)
    Author: Carla Wilson

    North Saanich-based Viking Air Ltd. has bought the manufacturing rights for Bombardier’s waterbombers.

    This deal sees Viking take over product support, parts and services for the planes, which includes the Bombardier 415, dubbed the “Superscooper.”

    The aircraft is able to scoop up a 6,137-litre load of water in 12 seconds as it skims over water.

    “This acquisition expands Viking’s capabilities in product support and parts into another vital niche aviation segment, and ensures that a unique and important Canadian innovation stays in Canada,” David Curtis, president and chief executive officer of Viking, said in a statement Monday.

    “We are proud to add another iconic Canadian aircraft program to Viking’s stable. Our aim is to take the 415 to its highest potential and keep these aircraft in service for decades to come.”

    The agreement will see Viking add another 40 people to its workforce in Victoria and Calgary.

    Viking currently has 330 staff at its North Saanich operation and 88 people in Calgary.

    Viking has bought and upgraded a 50,000-square foot facility near Calgary airport for the Bombardier venture.

    Sale details are not being released.

    The Bombardier sale follows Viking’s successful reintroduction of the popular Twin Otter plane, manufactured in Victoria and Calgary.

    Viking sells the rugged and versatile Twin Otter around the globe. The company delivered its first next-generation Twin Otter in 2010.

    Bombardier amphibious aircraft are used by 21 operators in 11 countries, Viking said. A total of 170 of its planes are in service, including earlier CL-215 and CL-215T.

    “This transaction builds on our presence in British Columbia and Alberta and expands on the existing strengths of the western Canadian aerospace industry. At the same time, we will continue to rely on an extensive supply chain in Quebec and Ontario to support both the amphibious aircraft and Twin Otter programs,” Curtis said.

    The 415 was designed and is built in Canada. It is the only western aircraft purpose-built for firefighting, Viking said.

    Meanwhile, Bombardier and its union have agreed on a plan for cutting 200 positions at the company’s Q400 manufacturing operation in Toronto so some work can be outsourced to other countries.

    Some of the Bombardier employees currently in those positions will be offered training and transfer opportunities within the company. Others will be offered retirement packages under the agreement with Unifor.

    A Bombardier spokeswoman says the agreement is part of a five-year plan, announced in November, to make the company’s products more profitable and competitive in the long term.

    Bombardier plans to make the Q400 wings in Mexico and cockpits in China, for final assembly in Toronto.

    The Toronto operation currently has about 3,500 employees — including 1,400 working on the Q400, a turboprop used by commercial airlines around the world. Toronto-based Porter Airlines and WestJet’s Encore service are among the Q400’s customers.

    Besides the Q400s, Bombardier does final assembly of the Global Express 5000 and 6000 business jets in Toronto. The Downsview plant is also scheduled to work on the longer-range 7000 and 8000 Global Express jets.

    Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera said it’s too soon to say how many of the Q400 positions will be eliminated through retirements and how many will be dealt with through retraining and other mitigation measures.

    “We can’t speculate until we’ve done the exercise with the union,” de la Barrera said Monday.

    Scott McIlmoyle, president of Unifor local 112, was unavailable for comment.