Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to speak about a good-news success story stemming from the riding of Yellowknife North. It's the story of a good idea, hard work, and community partnerships that grew into a northern legend and thriving business.
Mr. Speaker, today is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Air Tindi. On November 1, 1988 Peter and Alex Arychuk and their wives Teri and Sheila, along with eight employees and three aircraft, opened their new business. They loved aviation, loved the people of the North, and brought confidence and a strong work ethic to their new airline. They started with seasonal tourism flights, wildlife surveys, and mining exploration, and grew from there.
Over time they earned loyalty and friendships among customers and communities by building a tradition of excellence, reliability, service, and safety. Starting in 1991 they have forged a total of six Aboriginal joint ventures. Continuously since 1993 Air Tindi has provided medevac services across the NWT. The diamond rush of the early 1990s boosted the airline even further, leading to growth in business and the acquisition of more-capable aircraft, like the Dash 7.
Today Air Tindi employs 200 people flying 18 aircraft. It provides vital daily connections between five communities and the capital. Its medevac crew is ready to be in the air anywhere in the NWT within 45 minutes of getting a call. In 2017 they flew over 1,200 medevac missions.
Air Tindi flies specialty charter missions of almost every description. It carried the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Blachford Lake Lodge, dog teams to the Arctic Winter Games, and a load of piglets to Gameti for the community's local agricultural project.
Mr. Speaker, like many northern businesses Air Tindi has benefitted from a focus on safety and best practices. This past year it achieved 1 million hours and three full years' operation without a lost-time injury.
The airline also grows its own northern workforce. About 30 apprentices or trainees are at Air Tindi at any given time, learning to be pilots or mechanical engineers.
Mr. Speaker, Air Tindi is truly a northern success story. After 30 years it continues to play a central role in transportation services in the NWT, providing a vital service and connecting northern communities and peoples.
Colleagues, please join me in congratulating Air Tindi on its 30th anniversary in business. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.