About

The Taquan team
embodies Alaska

Who we are and more

Who we are

The name Taquan, meaning “village by the sea” in the Tsmishian native language, has been synonymous with aviation in Southeast Alaska for almost 50 years, and is recognized as one of the most successful floatplane operations in Alaska.

What we are about

We’re locals who are passionate about sharing all that we love about Alaska. We hire and train our staff for exceptional customer service and keep our state-of-the-art equipment up to the highest standards for safety. So, you get authentic Alaska, by those who love her.

Our commitment to the community and environment

Taquan Air has been serving Southeast Alaska for more than 40 years and is recognized as one of the most successful floatplane operations in Alaska, due to our safety culture and commitment to customer service.

Taquan Air has been certified under the Adventure Green Alaska program. This is a voluntary program for Alaska tourism businesses that meet economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria. We are committed to preserving our great State and are conscientious of our footprint, not just on the memories of our guests experience, but also to the impacts we have on our environment.

Our history

Taquan Air has been faithfully serving the communities in and around Ketchikan for more than 40 years.

  1. The first DeHavilland Beaver is flown and recognized as one of Canada's ten greatest engineering achievements in the past 100 years.

  2. The final DeHavilland Beaver aircraft comes off production in Canada.

  3. Taquan Air Service Incorporated begins operations as a single aircraft carrier, owned and operated by Jerry Scudero, out of Metlakatla, Alaska.

  4. Taquan Air Service, Inc. purchases property in Ketchikan on Water Street.

  5. Kootznoowoo Corporation purchases 50% of Taquan Air Service, Inc. stock, enabling the carrier to purchase assets from Ketchikan Air Service.

  6. Taquan Air Service, Inc. sells off assets and streamlines operations.

  7. Venture Travel, LLC dba Taquan Air acquires Taquan Air Service, Inc. assets and begins operations under the direction of President and CEO, Brien Salazar.

  8. Venture Travel, LLC dba Taquan Air is awarded U.S. Forest Service Air Service Contract and acquires U.S. Postal Service contracts to serve Hyder, Hydaburg, and Behm Canal mail routes.

  9. "New" Taquan Air begins operating full service U.S. Mail and scheduled passenger flights in the Ketchikan area, including Prince of Wales Island.

  10. Taquan Air begins Kenmore Air six window seat modifications on DeHavilland Beaver fleet. All maintenance requirements are completed in-house by way of local labor.

  11. Taquan Air acquires and operates contracts with all major cruise lines for flightseeing tours, predominately during the summer season.

  12. Taquan Air fleet increases from 6 to 7 aircraft

  13. Taquan Air completes Kenmore six window seat modification on all 7 aircraft.

  14. Taquan Air registers to participate in the voluntary Alaska Medallion Foundation Safety in Aviation Program.

  15. Taquan Air is the first to adopt the FAA's Capstone Program and becomes the first floatplane carrier in Southeast Alaska to install state-of-the-art glass cockpit avionics navigation equipment in its entire fleet.

  16. Taquan Air completes first step in the Medallion Program by earning the Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) Avoidance Star.

  17. Taquan Air completes second step in the Medallion Program by earning the Operational Risk Management (ORM) Star.

  18. Taquan Air completes the third step in the Medallion Program by earning the Maintenance and Ground Service Star.

  19. Taquan Air completes installation of digital stereo sound systems in each aircraft and replaces all existing headsets with digital noise canceling headsets.

  20. Taquan Air completes its fourth step in the Medallion Program by earning the Safety Program Star.

  21. Taquan Air is recognized for being one of two Part-135 floatplane operators in the state of Alaska to achieve Four Star Rating in the Medallion Program.

  22. Taquan Air relocates from waterfront base at 1007 Water Street to the new 3.5 acre business park, Harbor Point.

  23. Taquan Air relocates for the last time at 4085 Tongass Avenue into a brand new, custom-built state-of-the-art terminal and hangar building.

  24. Taquan Air commences the 2008 season with a two day Grand Opening celebration at the new facilities. Events included a totem pole raising ceremony, native tribal dancing, and public barbeque. Hundreds of guests turned out to celebrate and congratulate.

  25. The fifth and final step in the Medallion Foundation program is completed with Taquan earning its Internal Audit Star. An audit is conducted to determine the company’s eligibility for the Medallion Shield.

  26. Company President Brien Salazar attended an awards presentation to receive the Medallion Shield plaque for Taquan Air.

  27. Taquan Air purchases Alaskan assets of Promech Air and expands fleet to 16 aircraft and two maintenance facilities.

  28. Taquan Air's fleet included 11 Beavers, 3 Otter, and 1 Caravan.

  29. Taquan Air's fleet included 11 Beavers, 3 Otters.

  30. Taquan Air's fleet includes 10 Beavers and 4 Otters.

Kawanti Adventures

Jump feet first into Alaskan adventures—with experienced guides excited to share it with you. Fly over fjords, zipline through the trees, see bears, and everything else Alaska has to offer.

DISCOVER ALASKA

Amazing Float Plane Trip. Very accomodating for handicapped person

The float plane ride over the Misty Fjords was incredible. One amazing view after another. Our pilot/guide, Mike Hudgins, was very informative and executed a flawless water landing on a large lake, where several of us got out and walked on the plane floats. A must do for anyone visiting Ketchikan.

I am handicapped. I walk with two crutches. Mike and his crew were very helpful and accommodating dealing with my handicap and enabling me to board and exit the plane, allowing me to enjoy this incredible experience.

Paul R. - Florida

A Highlight of our Alaskan Adventure

My family and I took a float plane over the Misty Fjords during our cruise through the Inside Passage of Alaska. My parents, husband, kids (6 & 9) and I all agree that this experience was one of the best memories of our trip.

The views are things that you only see on postcards. Evan, our pilot, was friendly and provided us a nice balance between telling us about the National Park and giving us time to take in the sights. My 9-year-old son was thrilled that he got to sit in the “co-pilot’s” seat and Evan was very kind in making him feel important.

We landed on a floating dock about half way through our flight and were able to get out and take in the beauty that surrounded us. Evan was nice enough to offer to take many pictures of our family that are now framed in our house.

If you are lucky enough to spend some time in Ketchikan, I would absolutely recommend a Taquan Air Tour.

Leah Linden - Pennsylvania

Magnificent Misty Fjords Seaplane

We did this excursion while in Ketchikan on a cruise on the Norwegian Pearl. This excursion was a splurge for us, but it was the highlight of our cruise. It was just our family (my aunt & uncle, and my husband, 9-year-old, and me) in the plane. Our pilot was fantastic, allowing us to take in the views put providing some commentary about what we were seeing. Enough commentary to be interesting, but not a steady stream, which allowed us to take in the beautiful scenery. We landed in Misty Fjords National Park and stepped out onto the skids/floats to further experience the beauty of the region. We loved every minute of this special trip and Taquan Air gave us an unforgettable experience. We highly recommend this tour!

Megan D.

Neets Bay Tour

Excellent tour to Neets Bay and salmon hatchery. Saw bears, eagles, seals, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Beautiful scenery on flight and at tour location. Knowledgeable friendly and professional staff, guides & pilot. Highly Recommend!

LD808213 - California

Wonderful experience!

This trip to Neets Bay was WONDERFUL!! Beautiful views the pilot talked away as we flew about the sights and history of the planes. We saw all the bears, the jelly fish and sea stars are on the dock. We got so close to the bears! They got us back safely and on time to our cruise ship!

steviechic66 - Nevada

The Misty Fjords and Killer Music with Jim

Our family. three generations ranging in age from 10 to 75, spent an amazing couple of hours with our pilot, Jim, flying over the Misty Fjords, seeing breathtaking sites and learning much about the creation of the fjords and their history. Our pilot, Jim, was both knowledgeable and entertaining, interspersing his informative narratives with an outstanding music selection. In fact, it is worth noting, that despite the unparalleled beauty of the Misty Fjords from aloft, Jim's selection of tunes runs a very, very close second and really added to the intensity of the excursion. Many thanks to Jim for his expert flying, his knowledge of the history, geology, and geography of the fjords and choices of MUSIC. A memorable experience it was, to say the least.

Michael C - North Carolina

NEETS BAY BEAR WATCHING BY FLOAT PLANE

We took this excursion to see bears in the wild. We were not disappointed. The bear watching at Neet's Bay was great. However, the flight to and from Ketchikan was amazing. We had a clear day and the scenery was spectacular. Our pilot, Adam, took us to the bay by one route and then back to Ketchikan by a more scenic route - spectacular views. Highly recommend this excursion.

RAYMOND - NEW JERSEY

Awesome Afternoon

Our pilot, Mike, and the fantastic folks at Taquan Air helped Scott and I plan our perfect wedding at the Misty Fjords! The flight out was thrilling, especially from the copilot's seat, and Mike's narration was interesting and informative. We landed out in Rudyerd Bay and taxied to a large floating dock. In this beautiful setting, our pilot became our officiant and we exchanged vows (Mike helped with those too!) We spent a little time celebrating and taking in the stunning views before heading back. The return flight was equally amazing, ending much too soon with a perfectly smooth landing.
I can't thank Taquan Air enough for all they did to make our event so perfect. Special thanks to Forrest who did photos, Faith & Deandra, our witnesses, and Mike, our pilot/officiant/planner extraordinaire!

Christine D

Incredible views over the Misty Fjords – Jim is the best!

We were lucky enough to come on a perfectly sunny day in Ketchikan, getting unobstructed views throughout the flight to the not-so-Misty Fjords. Everywhere we looked was beautiful - flying over the pristine lakes, passing right by New Eddystone Rock, even spotting a breaching humpback whale from above. Jim's water landings and take-offs were smoother than most commercial airliners, and his narration was fun and informative without being overwhelming. Overall, it was an amazing day, and we would definitely recommend this voyage to anyone.

Penny B

Amazing trip.

We did a sea plane tour of the misty fjords during our Disney cruise recently, culminating in a crab feast at the George Inlet lodge. The float plane part of the experience with Taquan air was amazing, and felt completely one of a kind. Taking off and landing on water is an experience in itself (if you have never been on a floatplane before like my family). Scenery was amazing, the staff were friendly and every passenger on board throughly enjoyed the WHOLE experience.
The only thing that stopped this review getting 5 stars is the pilot did not really communicate with us during the flight. The headphones played music and a running commentary on board, which was fair enough and quite interesting. However when we landed and disembarked the pilot asked us "Did you say the family of bears on the ground??". None of us had (too much else to see)....so we all were thinking why didn't he point them out to us while flying.
Apart from that he was very professional and friendly and made my son feel very special helping on and off the plane (a big over the shoulder carry as he disembarked which brought a HUGE smile).
I would recommend Taquan air tours without question. A flight with them will definitely be a highlight of your Alaskan vacation.

Bruce D. - Canada
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