Category Archives: Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group

Peninsula Mayor’s Annual Breakfast (Feb. 2014) – Speaker Tim Wake

Huge thanks to the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (SPCC) for hosting & organizing the February 20th, 2014 Peninsula Mayor’s Breakfast. Guest speaker was Tim Wake, Housing Consultant, founder & inaugural ED of the Whistler Housing Authority & past Whistler Municipal Councillor. Click here (Tim Wake – SPCC 2014) for a PDF copy of Tim’s presentation – “Saanich Peninsula Workforce Housing”. Highlights:

  • Whistler & area started to mobilize & address this issue when outgoing employee traffic, i.e., driving to homes substantially away from their employment, reached about 25%. The SNSIG employee group is close to 75%.
  • Substantial government help exists for the subsidized housing demographic…little to none for the “Workforce/Employee” housing demographic.
  • Global 2014 housing surveys and data place our region in the severely unaffordable housing affordability continuum. 
  • Key observations from Tim’s presentation (slide 16):
    • Most communities plan but do not act on the plan
    • The housing stakeholder committee or housing organization is key
    • Success is the delivery of housing, not just the plan

Special thanks to Jim Bennett from the GVRB for securing Tim Wake as guest speaker. 

Viking Twin Otter Series 400 Demonstrates Strong SE Asia Presence

Vietnam Navy Receives First Fixed Wing Aircraft to Operate in Country 

Singapore, February 13th, 2014: With yesterday’s announcement of a new dual aircraft order to First Flying Co., Ltd. of Japan, the Viking Twin Otter Series 400 continues to demonstrate a strong presence throughout South East Asia. Nine countries throughout the region have witnessed Series 400 Twin Otter sales, with an additional seven countries participating in active sales campaigns. 

Topping the list with a six aircraft order announced in 2010, the Vietnam Navy have now received their first fixed wing aircraft with the arrival late last year of their initial Series 400 Twin Otter in-country. In addition to the on-going flight and maintenance training programs being conducted at Viking’s corporate headquarters in Victoria, BC, Viking customer service representatives and flight training delegates will be on-site at the Navy Air Wing Base in Nha Trang to assist with the integration of the aircraft into current Navy operations. 

MASwings, subsidiary to Malaysian Airlines, also have six Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft on order, with three already delivered and operating as regional commuters in Malaysia and the next two scheduled for delivery in the next six weeks. The fifth MASwings aircraft delivery will mark the completion of the 50th Viking production Twin Otter Series 400, and will be celebrated in March. 

Other customers on the South East Asia regional sales list include Meiya Air of China (5), Airfast Indonesia (4), Aerostar Leasing of Singapore (4), Ok Tedi/Loch Ard in Papua New Guinea (2), Regent/Loch Ard in Bangladesh (1), Hevilift of Australia (1), and the newest addition, First Flying of Japan (2). 

The Series 400 Twin Otter is ideally suited for the region due to its robust design, ease of maintenance, STOL performance capabilities, and ability to operate from water or unimproved strips in a single platform. The versatility and dependability of the Twin Otter Series 400 in extreme conditions provides regional operators the opportunity to reliably service the many remote islands and water-based locales with passenger transport or infrastructure support, critical to both the success of the operator and the development of the region. 

With Viking aircraft sold and delivered to 23 countries worldwide, the Series 400 Twin Otter is confirmed as the best-selling next generation turbo-prop aircraft in its class. Viking provides OEM support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland legacy aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7) and forms part of Westerkirk Capital Inc, a Canadian private investment firm with substantial holdings in the hospitality, aviation, and real estate sectors.

 

Viking Sells First Series 400 Twin Otters to Japanese Market

First Flying To Become Inaugural Twin Otter Series 400 Operator in Country 

Singapore, February 12th, 2014: Viking Air Limited of Victoria, BC, Canada and First Flying Co., Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, have entered into an agreement for the purchase of two Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, making First Flying the premiere Twin Otter Series 400 customer in the country. 

The two aircraft, scheduled for delivery starting in early 2015, will be configured as standard 19-passenger commercial landplanes and put into operation as domestic carriers based in Okinawa and operated throughout the Ryukyu Islands in the southernmost region of Japan. 

“We are pleased to add First Flying to our growing list of international customers, not only as a new member of the Series 400 family, but as a leader in opening up the Japanese market,” commented David Curtis, Viking president & CEO. He continued, “We are confident that the aircraft will be well received in this new market, and First Flying will be successful in introducing the Twin Otter Series 400 to Japan.” 

Masanobu Nishikawa, First Flying president, stated “We are very happy to be bringing the Twin Otter Series 400 back to Japan again, as it has been approximately eight years since the last Series 300 Twin Otter retired from the Japanese sky.” He added, “Our company has put forward considerable effort to maintain the routes among the Ryuku Islands in Okinawa, and the addition of our new Series 400 aircraft will enable us to develop new routes and bring more passengers and cargo to the area. We are sure that our determination will be great news not just for Okinawa citizens, but for all the people of Japan.” 

First Flying Co., Ltd. is a regional air carrier and flying club based at Yao Airport, in Osaka, and operates a mixed fleet of fixed wing and rotary aircraft for flightseeing, aerial survey and flight training services between Yao Airport and Hiroshima-Heliport. 

With Viking aircraft sold and delivered to 23 countries worldwide, the Series 400 Twin Otter is confirmed as the best-selling next generation turbo-prop aircraft in its class. Viking provides OEM support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland legacy aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7) and forms part of Westerkirk Capital Inc, a Canadian private investment firm with substantial holdings in the hospitality, aviation, and real estate sectors.

VHBA’s 2014 Crystal Ball Housing Forecast

I recently attended the 2014 Crystal Ball Housing Forecast sponsored by the Victoria Home Builders Association (ED – Casey Edge). Presenters included: 

  • Cameron Muir, Chief Economist, BC Real Estate Association
  • Shelley Mann, Past President, Victoria Real Estate Board
  • Lance Jakubec, Senior Market Analyst, CMHC
  • Michael Hall, Director of Customer Support, Viking Air and representing the Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group (SNSIG)
  • Shannon Renault, Policy & Program Professional 

Key messages for the New Year…although 2014 is forecast to be a stronger economic year than 2013, the housing outlook remains “stable & transitional” with no significant pressure on housing prices…weak job growth continues to hurt housing demand…stronger migration growth into 2015 will help fuel housing demand…currently buyers are cautious with minimal post-purchase expectations & money continues to be tight for renovating…however there is extensive local commercial activity…local realtors remain cautiously optimistic coining the new phrase, “Flat is the New Up!”. SNSIG presenter messaging included…housing affordability encourages employment & healthy communities…75% of industrial workforce in the Sidney / North Saanich area are commuting to and from work…like similar municipal workforce housing scenarios across Canada (6 examples were researched), our region must start to treat workforce housing as an economic development issue…the CRD must start to incorporate a higher regional median income towards housing based policy as opposed to the current lower number that forces policy and decision making towards rental based solutions.