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HomeNews100 Mile HouseForseth Hopes to Take Concerns About Lack of Pilots to NCLGA

Forseth Hopes to Take Concerns About Lack of Pilots to NCLGA

A Director with the Cariboo Regional District is hoping to take a resolution regarding the lack of pilots to the upcoming NCLGA AGM and Convention.

Area D Director Steve Forseth said he and Mayors Mitch Campsall and Walt Cobb were at the Natural Resources Forum in Prince George last month as was Pacific Coastal Airlines who told them what a lot of their challenges were.

“The three of us agreed that this is something that we needed to bring to the attention of senior levels of government namely Victoria and Ottawa,” Forseth said.

“A lot of us are trying to rebuild our tourism as a result of the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, and considering post Greyhound is put on the shelf for now until we see what that looks like and given this issue around the stability of the airline industry, there is a lot of concern that people who can’t afford vehicles will be left with no options to travel to destinations beyond Williams Lake or their rural communities in B.C.”

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Forseth said the number of airlines is increasing, and as people retire from the airline industry, the pool of trained pilots is dwindling.

“A lack of training capacity is also adding to this particular issue,” he said.

“What’s happening is a lot of the big airlines like Air Canada and WestJet they’re so desperate for trained pilots that they’re actually poaching training captains for flight schools which in turn obviously means you can’t train pilots because when you take the trainers then you can’t train people who want to get into the airline industry by being a trained pilot. ”

“To make matters worse, even the Royal Canadian Air Force is besieged with this issue.”

The 2019 NCLGA AGM and Convention takes place in Williams Lake from May 7th to 10th.

Forseth suspects the resolution will resonate with other rural Mayors including Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach and Mayor of Dawson Creek Dale Bumstead who he said both have challenges with their airport.

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