A Tofino Air floatplane is tied up at the dock in Tofino. The company's owner is looking at bringing his service to Port Alberni.

Tofino Air eyes float plane service to Alberni Inlet

Port Alberni's Centennial Pier could be the new home of a Tofino Air base, says Chris Danroth.

Floatplane service could start arriving at Port Alberni’s Centennial Pier now that it’s finished, says the owner of Tofino Air.

Chris Danroth, president of Gibsons-based All Sports Group, which owns Tofino Air, said he has been in discussion with the Port Alberni Port Authority for more than a year to offer flight service between Tofino and Port Alberni, and beyond. Danroth said the discussion was so in-depth that his company had some influence on the pier’s construction.

“We helped them by giving them all the information they needed to lay out a proper facility there [for float planes],” Danroth explained. “We’ve been waiting for them to get it completed.”

Danroth said he plans to meet with the port authority again as he wasn’t aware that the infrastructure and low-lying docks were already completed.

The docks were in place in time for the arrival of Holland America’s cruise ship, Amsterdam, in May. The ship’s tender ferried passengers from the ship, moored in the harbour, to the new docks built on the sheltered side of the pier.

For Tofino Air to start servicing Port Alberni, Danroth said he is seeking an exclusivity deal. If that is met, a survey will be conducted to determine demand, which will dictate the service schedule. A refuelling arrangement would then need to be made with the nearby marina while Tofino Air builds its own facility.

Danforth speculated that year-round service is possible and Port Alberni’s notorious fog is not a deterrent.

“We are used to it from flying in and out of Tofino,” Danroth said about the fog. “I’ve been stuck in Port Alberni many times before because of the fog. It’s the nature of the business.”

Port Alberni economic manager Pat Deakin said it was always the city’s intention to encourage a floatplane service at the breakwater, even before it was constructed.

“We got in touch with everyone we could find operating a floatplane service in the Pacific Northwest,” Deakin said. “Some of them said this didn’t fit their business model or expansion plan because of where we are located to where they are based. There was also some interest and some said to keep us informed with our plans.”

Tofino Air expressed an interest from the start, but nothing was finalized, Deakin explained.

“We’ve been in discussion with them but it’s not a done deal,” Deakin added. “We have also been in discussion with other providers that have indicated an interest.”

Calls to Port Alberni Port Authority were not returned by press deadline.

All Sports Group also owns Westwind Pub in Port Alberni.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Uchucklesaht Tribe purchases former Redford School

Property will be a “multi-use building” similar to The Thunderbird

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Most Read