Paul Dunn's 2009 blogGAR Entries

DEC 31 2009
Vancouver Harbour

Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada, just north of Seattle and shares a similar climate to the famously wet American city. It is however a very attractive city, surrounded by mountains and waterways.

The harbour area of Vancouver is a busy waterway, with ferries linking the city with suburbs on Victoria Island. The ferry journey can take longer than 90 minutes, but there are several companies who can offer a faster transfer time using aircraft.

Currently two companies operate float plane services from a base on the waterfront, to the west side of the Vancouver convention centre. Both companies offer passenger and freight services to a variety of destinations in the area.

Busiest of the two companies at the time of my visit was Harbour Air. Harbour Air have the largest all float plane fleet in the world (34 aircraft) and operate most of their services using the de Havilland DHC-3 Turbine Single Otter, a re-engined version of the original de Havilland Single Otter. They also use the smaller de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, a type which is synonymous with float plane operations throughout the world.

The other company to operate from the float plane terminal is West Coast Air, another operator of the de Havilland Beaver. Operating a similar mix of scheduled and charter operations, West Coast Air also have a larger aircraft available in the shape of the de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, although this aircraft was not flying on the day of my visit.

On the other side of the convention centre is Vancouver Harbour Heliport, where HeliJet offer a competing service for commuters wishing to travel to Victoria Island. Main equipment for HeliJet is the Sikorsky S-76.

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2010-01-06 - Peter Fleetwood
Hi, Paul.
I thought you wouldn't resist those floatplanes! Very nice pics. I particularly like the one of harbour air 205 from almost head on, apparently just beginning to taxi, and the ones of West Coast 208, especially the one side-on in flight. That particular aircraft doesn't seem so spacious! Any idea on how many it carries...?
Peter F.

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