Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the Legislative Assembly that on Friday, March 31, 1995, Transport Canada issued dry leases to Buffalo Airways Limited for the four federally-owned CL-215 water bomber air tankers.
Buffalo Airways Limited will staff, operate and maintain these aircraft under a separate contract with the Government of the Northwest Territories for a period of five years. Buffalo Airways took possession in Abbotsford, BC, and the first aircraft was ferried to Red Deer, Alberta, on Sunday afternoon.
The three remaining air tankers are presently being prepared. The transfer process is expected to be completed by next weekend. The CL-215s will then be positioned at their bases during the third week in April. They will be ready for the May 1st availability date as required by the contract.
Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to inform the House that Buffalo Airways intends to subcontract Bird Dog support services jointly between Landa Aviation of Hay River and Northwestern Air Lease of Fort Smith. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.