Freight not making it to the islands

  • Mar. 9, 2005 6:00 a.m.

By Heidi Bevington-Equipment and communication problems have significantly reduced Air Canada’s freight service to the islands since mid-February.
Stephen Foster of Port Air Cargo said he’s never seen inbound freight service so bad in the three and a half years he’s had the business, although outbound service has been fine for freight like lab tests which are shipped off the islands.
Air Canada flies a 50 seat Dash 8 300 into Sandspit once a day carrying passengers, luggage and freight, but since the middle of February there’s been less freight than usual because of high passenger loads and equipment problems, according to Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah. Airmail and emergency medical supplies are supposed to have priority, but even they have been having trouble getting through.
The airplane normally carries freight in ‘seat packs’, containers that allow the freight to be safely stowed on empty passenger seats. The seat packs had to be replaced for some reason, Ms Mah said, although she wasn’t certain why. This has substantially reduced the amount of cargo the plane can carry.
“Airmail is coming in,” said postmaster Elizabeth Inkster at the Queen Charlotte post office. However, passengers and their luggage do have priority, so some days the mail hasn’t arrived.
Medical supplies didn’t make it to the islands the last week of February, said the islands’ health services administrator, Sue Beckermann, but it was a problem with Northern Health Authority’s courier rather than Air Canada.
The courier mislabled the medical supplies’ waybill, so Air Canada didn’t realize what they were. The Queen Charlotte pharmacy notified NHA and Air Canada immediately when the supplies didn’t arrive, but it took a couple of days to sort out the snafu. Finally, the supplies were flown to Prince Rupert and then carried over to Masset by North Pacific Seaplanes at Air Canada’s expense, said Ms Beckermann. This was a one time only event, unrelated to Air Canada’s seat pack problem.
Air Canada expects to have regular freight service resume in the third week of March when the new seat packs arrive.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered e-coupon and promo code

Haida Gwaii teachers heading back to empty classrooms on June 1

SD50 working with CHN following May 21 request to keep school closed until state of emergency lifted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read