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Aqsaqniq Airways, Medic North Nunavut ink medevac deal

ATL MediaDec. 6, 2011, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Discovery Air Inc. subsidiary Air Tindi Ltd. is pleased to announce that its majority Inuit-owned partnership Aqsaqniq Airways Ltd. has been selected by the Government of Nunavut to supply Air Ambulance Services in the Kitikmeot Region.


December 6, 2011
By Carey Fredericks

Dec. 6, 2011, Yellowknife, N.W.T. – Discovery Air Inc. subsidiary Air
Tindi Ltd. is pleased to announce that its majority Inuit-owned
partnership Aqsaqniq Airways Ltd. has been selected by the Government of
Nunavut to supply Air Ambulance Services in the Kitikmeot Region.

The service will be provided in conjunction with Medic North Nunavut, a majority Inuit-owned partnership between the Kitikmeot Corporation and Advanced Medical Solutions Inc. (formerly Medic North Emergency Services Ltd.). In total the five-year contract is expected to be worth in excess of $30 million.

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"With more than 14 years conducting dedicated Medevac service for the Stanton Territorial Health Authority, which represents more than 42,000 hours of successful Medevac flying, this is a part of our business we take great pride in delivering," said Air Tindi president Chuck Parker. "With our partners Medic North Nunavut, we have the expertise to handle a contract of this scale and the dedication to ensure we do so in a way that delivers the maximum benefit to Kitikmeot residents and all Nunavummiut."

As a result of this contract, the partnership group will be establishing an operating location in Cambridge Bay, NU – the regional and administrative hub for the Kitikmeot Region.

"We're extremely pleased to be expanding our Medevac services into the Kitikmeot Region and look forward to being a valued member of the community," said Advanced Medical Solutions president and chief executive officer Sean Ivens.

"There is no service in the North that's more critical than conducting air ambulance flights and we are honoured to have been the Government of Nunavut's choice to fill this role together with Aqsaqniq Airways."

A hangar has been constructed and it will be fully operational by December 15. Eventually Aqsaqniq Airways will have a dedicated, medevac purpose-built Learjet 35A based in Cambridge Bay that is equipped to land on and take-off from the gravel runways of the Kitikmeot communities.

"We currently have initiated our service with a King Air 200, but in a matter of weeks we'll upgrade that to a faster, more spacious aircraft while we await the final approval of modifications to the Learjet," said Parker. "We'll have no fewer than eight staff – including medical personnel, aircraft maintenance engineers, pilots, and a Medevac Operations Coordinator – in Cambridge Bay at any given time and we are working with local suppliers and contractors to ensure our presence there delivers the maximum benefit possible to the local, regional and territorial economies."

Together Aqsaqniq Airways and Medic North Nunavut will be making available a total of $40,000 annually in scholarships for students from Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Kugaaruk who are interested in pursuing careers in aviation or the remote medical services industries.

"We're dedicating ourselves to help build the capacity of the resident workforce in the Kitikmeot region," said Ivens. "Our goal and that of our partner Aqsaqniq Airways is to see Inuit from the region employed in the many stable careers we'll have available in Cambridge Bay through this new contract."