Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - Taquan Air will be carrying passengers on its planes once again, after voluntarily suspending operations in the wake of the company's involvement in two fatal crashes within a seven-day period.
According to KTUU TV in Anchorage, the first accident, a midair collision, occurred near Ketchikan on Monday, May 13. Six died in the crash.
One week later, two died during a separate crash in Metlakatla.
Taquan Air resumed cargo-only operations last week after the company reached an agreement on risk-reduction measures with the FAA’s Juneau Flight Standards District Office.
According to FAA spokesperson Ian Gregory, Taquan Air presented the FAA with an action plan to resume passenger-carrying flights on May 29. Gary Scott, with Thompson & Co. public relations firm, told KTUU on Wednesday morning that the company was undergoing a voluntary, independent operations audit and would not resume passenger services until the results were finalized. As of Tuesday, the results of that audit were still pending.
When Taquan Air's passenger flights resume, the Juneau FSDO will be tasked with incorporating multiple risk-mitigating strategies.
Gregory says the FAA also brought in two additional safety inspectors with Alaska floatplane experience to help conduct the surveillance and inspections.