Summit Aviation Group will use an Avro RJ85 to fly staff of the Diavik Diamond Mine between Edmonton and the mine starting later this year. The company is supplying the aircraft in a partnership with Dene-owned Det’on Cho Logistics and First Air.
Summit President Rob Mauracher said the four-engine airliner will carry almost 90 passengers into the 5,234-foot gravel runway at Diavik’s private airport near the mine. The mine is located about 500 km. northeast of Yellowknife. More than half of its workers live in the south and rotate in and out.
“The introduction of the Avro RJ85 to Summit’s fleet is a significant change in our business model,” says Summit’s president, Rob Mauracher. “Being able to move upwards of 90 passengers to and from remote locations significantly broadens our service offering, while still providing the northern expertise in safety and reliability Summit is known for.”
The RJ85’s high-wing design gets the engines up and out of the way of gravel kicked up by the tires and a gravel kit that protects the underside of the aircraft permits operation into unimproved runways like that at Diavik.
The RJ85 is a modernized version of the BAE 146 airliner that was operated by Air B.C. in the 1990s.