Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) is now the fuel service provider at the Dease Lake Airport (CYDL). Serving up to 25 aircraft weekly, TNDC’s fuel operations at CYDL will support medical evacuations, crew changes at the Red Chris mine, firefighting, and allow private aircraft a dedicated fuel source.
The Dease Lake Airport is a vital community resource in health and emergency operations as well as a central access point for the exploration/mining industry in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle. Extensive safety and capital upgrades, including runway repaving and lighting improvements, carried out in 2021, led to a significant reduction in medevac times, from 20.5 hours to 5.3 hours.
As the contract airport operator of CYDL, TNDC is the one of only a few Indigenous organizations to manage an airport in British Columbia. In addition to fuel operations, TNDC Airport Services is responsible for inspections, maintenance and ongoing operations of the airport, including snow and brush clearing, runway friction tests, runway sweeping, grounds maintenance, passenger and ground handling, and de-icing of aircraft.
“Assuming fuel operations at CYDL is another milestone in TNDC’s goal to provide all aspects of airport services at the Dease Lake Airport. This critical infrastructure is relied upon by the exploration and mining industry, government and local community for reliable fuel for medevacs, firefighting, and in future, commercial flights. It is one more example of TNDC diversifying our business and becoming an integrated full-service provider and trusted partner to our clients. Moreover, it is expanding the skills of our local Tahltan workforce, providing full-time year-round employment. We appreciate the continued support of Newcrest Mining and Stikine Airport Society and their confidence in TNDC,” says Paul Gruner, CEO, TNDC.
Fueling systems are intricate and made of many moving parts, requiring management by experienced employees who work together to safely deliver fuel to aircraft. Implementing the infrastructure required for fueling has been a joint effort between TNDC, Red Chris Joint Venture, and CYDL owners Stikine Airport Society (SAS). TNDC provides the oversight, 50,000 liter jet fuel tank, fuel truck, required expertise and personnel, including training several employees in the safe handling and fueling of aircraft. SAS provides land, electrical access, 9500 liter avgas tank, and a fuel operations/testing building, while Newcrest’s increased contracting scope provides financial support.
TNDC Airport Services has created eight local jobs for Tahltan members. TNDC Airport Services has been working with Executive Flight Centre in training our local team members in the disciplines of daily airport operations and ground support, including fueling aircraft of all types.