Trans North Helicopters announced Nov. 22 that as of April 30, 2020, the business no longer continue under its current ownership. (Submitted)

After more than 50 years, Trans North is looking for new owners

Company will cease operations as of April 30, 2020

After more than half a century in business, Trans North Helicopters has announced it is looking for new owners.

In a press release Nov. 22, officials said: “the business will no longer continue under its current ownership effective April 30, 2020.”

Officials say the company is talking with a number of parties interested in purchasing the business that got it’s start as Trans North Turbo Air in 1967 under the leadership of four founders — Gordon Davis, Ron Connelly, Al Kapty and Chuck Hankins.

“Helicopters were the core of the business but the operation of fixed-wing aircraft made up a significant part of the fleet for the first 20 years,” the statement reads. “Trans North proceeded to establish operational bases in Dawson City, Haines Junction, Watson Lake, Ross River, Carmacks and Mayo.”

Davis, who was the last remaining founder, died in the summer of 2019.

“His leadership and legacy continues to be missed in the company,” officials said. “Besides his long dedication to the success of the business, he considered that working in the beauty of the Yukon was the best reward.”

The announcement comes after a dispute earlier this year over the location of a City of Whitehorse wash bay at the city’s new operations building on Range Road.

Trans North argued the placement of the wash bay made it very unlikely aircraft would be able to legally fly out of Trans North’s base next to the operations building, given regulations that aircraft must be 1,000 feet above buildings and traffic when they fly.

City officials, meanwhile, argued they had gone through all the proper permitting for its operations building, including the placement of the wash bay.

In July, Trans North announced plans to move in October to a new site closer to the Whitehorse airport where it could continue flying from. But as of this week the company was still located at the original Range Road location.

Reached Nov. 25, Trans North general manager James Rose said the company would not be providing further comment on the decision to sell the company as it is in the middle of talks with potential buyers.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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