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More Money For Bombardier

More taxpayer investment in Bombardier seems assured.

More taxpayer investment in Bombardier seems assured.

More taxpayer money seems guaranteed for troubled Bombardier with the announcement by the Quebec government that it will step up again if the federal government doesn’t.

The feds announced this week that they are days away from a decision on whether to prop up the company to ensure it has the money to cover current production demands. But federal support is dependent on wresting control of the company from the Bombardier family, who hold more than 50 percent of the voting shares in the publicly traded company through a dual class share structure.

Many financial analysts have pointed to the family control, and its habit of appointing senior management from within that tight unit, as a key factor in the company’s current problems.

The Quebec government apparently has no such management concerns. If the feds don’t pony up, Quebec’s new Transport Minister Jacques Daoust has virtually assured Quebec will step in.

“If, as of March 31, the federal government isn’t present, the Government of Quebec will have a decision to make,” he said in the legislature. “But we’ve always supported Bombardier. It’s a jewel of our economy and we will continue [that support].”

That jewel has been tarnished of late on Wall Street as its share price has dropped to penny stock status. It was trading around 77 cents this week.

Blackshape Gets Transport Canada Nod

Blackshape Aircraft says its BS100 Prime is now certified in Canada. The Special-Limited certification allows the aircraft to be flown in day and night VFR with a maximum takeoff weight of 620 kg. According to Transport Canada’s Web site, the certification is granted those who “import and operate in Canada non-type certified and ex-military aircraft,
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Chinook Pilots Graduate

The first class of Canadian-trained CF-17 Chinook crew members has graduated from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron’s brand new training facility at Garrison Petawawa. The six pilots, two flight engineers and two loadmasters were recognized at a ceremony at the base last Monday. Previously, crew members were trained by Boeing pilots and had to travel to do
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Northwest Territories Buys Fire Bosses

The government of the Northwest Territories is replacing its ancient fleet of CL-215 water bombers with eight new Air Tractor 802 Fire Bosses worth $26 million. The CL-215s have been flying for more than 50 years (the federal government gave them to NWT in 1969) and are powered by radial piston engines. The government considered
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Coins Commemorate Arrow

The Avro Arrow program was probably Canadian aerospace’s most important accomplishment, and an Edmonton man has immortalized it with a commemorative coin. Designer and artist Joe Green has made it his mission to commemorate Canada’s aviation achievements. Now Green has begun minting coins telling the story and the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force,
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Diamond Building Dornier Airframes

Diamond Aircraft, of London, Ontario is playing a key role in continuing the longest running aviation dynasty in the world. The company is building the composite airframes for the Dornier Seastar, a twin-engine push/pull turboprop flying boat. Dornier is the oldest continuously operating aircraft builder in the world and a flying boat specialist. The aircraft
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Cyclone Makes Landmark Landing

The RCAF continues to make progress replacing its old Sea King helicopters with the new Sikorsky CH-148 ship-borne helicopter. Last week an all RCAF crew landed one of the aircraft on the deck of the Navy frigate HMCS Halifax. The Cyclone is undergoing tests by the RCAF’s Helicopter Operational Test and Evaluation Facility. The RCAF
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Incentives Offered For Introductory Flights

Women and girls taking part in Women of Aviation Week events in early March can win a range of prizes, including cash prizes toward flight training. The week runs from March 7-13 this year and there are events planned on three continents. Those who go for a flight (most will be free and offered by
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Murphy To Build LSAs

Kit aircraft maker Murphy Aircraft, of Chilliwack, B.C., has announced that it will enter the factory-built industry with an S-LSA version of its popular Rebel. The company also announced it’s planning to introduce a more powerful STOL version called the Radical Rebel at AirVenture Oshkosh in late July. Murphy founder Darryl Murphy said the demand
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London Air Show Back

After a 12-year absence, the London Air Show will return next Sept. 17-18. So far, the only confirmed acts are the Snowbirds and CF-18 demo teams but organizers promise plenty of variety on the ground and in the air. Chairman Jim Graham said there will be at least 50 aircraft on static display and the
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WestJet Cuts Flights

The oil slump has caused WestJet to cut 88 flights a week between B.C. and Alberta cities. Fort MacMurray is among the hardest hit, losing flights to Kelowna, Edmonton and Calgary. There will also be one fewer daily flight between Calgary and Edmonton and smaller airports in B.C. will be affected. Flights from Abbotsford, Nanaimo and
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