Wings Magazine

Naksup Airport deploys Searidge Weather system

Feb. 9, 2012, Ottawa - Searidge Technologies announced that the Arrow Lakes Hospital, Emergency Medical Center in Nakusp, British Columbia has deployed the Searidge Weather Information System at the local airport to increase safety and reduce costs of emergency air medical operations in the Arrow Lakes region.

February 9, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The Arrow Lakes area of the West Kootenays is a geographically remote, large, and mountainous region noted for its variable, often inclement weather. At the time of an emergency call for air evacuation pilots need to make fly/no fly decisions. If they cannot fly, a ground ambulance is dispatched adding precious time to patient transfer. The Searidge Weather Information System provides pilots with customized weather data to assist them in making timely weather-related decisions with confidence.

"This is a great leap forward. Not only is access accelerated to our regional emergency health care system but general aviation access and flight planning accuracy is markedly enhanced for the entire wilderness area," comments Ken France, heliskiing guide and local pilot.

Strategically placed cameras alongside the destination runway give pilots access to live images and weather updates, clear visibility reference images (for comparison), and images from the previous hour, helpful in determining if a storm is moving in. Real-time information such as altimeter, visibility, and temperature values via a web based display help them make very timely and safety sensitive decisions.

"Searidge strives to help small airports reach and procure the same capabilities as larger airports. With low-cost alternatives and customized solutions, Searidge offers a wide range of air traffic control applications using intelligent video technology that can have a significant impact on airport operations, safety and efficiency," said Alex Sauriol, vice president, ATM/Airport technology, Searidge Technologies.


Funding for the Arrow Lakes Project was shared by The Arrow Lakes Hospital Foundation and The Arrow Lakes Hospital Ladies Auxiliary with generous volunteer, local labour, and support from Canadian Mountain Holidays and The Village of Nakusp.


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