Safety First, Second, and Always

Your Safety is Our Top Priority

Our customers experience peace of mind knowing that our pilots receive extensive training, are certified by  the FAA, and, as a group, are the most experienced in Alaska.

The name Taquan, meaning “village by the sea” in the Tisimshian native language, has been synonymous with aviation in Southeast Alaska for over 40 years. This service record has given Taquan Air an advantage in attracting and maintaining strong business relationships.

Taquan maintains an exceptionally high level of professional integrity and will not compromise safety or good business practices. Management has committed the company to being the top floatplane operator in Alaska. Taquan Air’s value statement begins with a company-wide safety culture.

The Medallion Program at Taquan Air

Taquan Air is a participant in the nationally acclaimed Medallion Foundation Aviation Safety Program. The program was established to provide safety management systems and support to Alaska aviators. The foundation uses a Five-Star Program to provide process guidelines, training, and follow up with audit support and coordination to ensure compliance. Taquan Air has been awarded 5 out of the 5 stars and has been awarded the coveted Medallion Shield award. The five stars are awarded in the following disciplines:

  • VFR Pilot – PCATD/Simulator Training Program – Awarded May 2004
    This star includes a classroom training program as well as training on a PC based computer simulator or equivalent device. Two annual check-rides are a requirement to maintain this Star.
  • Operational Risk Management – Awarded November 2004
    The ORM system is dynamic and provides analytical tools as well as a system of checks and balances to proactively identify hazards and manage risks.
  • Maintenance and Ground Service Operations – Awarded April 2005
    These operations must include specific training and manning requirements as required in accordance to this star.
  • Safety Program – Awarded April 2006
    For this star, each operator must establish a safety program. A key aspect of the safety program is the commitment of top-level management to the safety program. At a minimum, the safety program includes safety meetings and audits, the use of root-cause analysis, hazard identification, incident investigations and a viable emergency response program.
  • Internal Audit Program – Awarded May 2008
    The incorporation of a proactive internal audit system that focuses on the use of systems safety principles as well as regulatory compliance.

Medallion Foundation Overview

The Medallion Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit aviation safety organization that provides management resources, training and support to the Alaskan aviation community. The Medallion Five Star Shield program is an enhanced Safety Management System (SMS) that takes a business-like approach to safety, providing for the setting of goals as well as planning and measuring performance in specific areas through the use of System Safety concepts. A Safety Management System can be defined as a systematic, explicit and comprehensive process for the management of safety risks. Another definition is an integrated set of work practices, beliefs and procedures for monitoring and improving the safety and health of all aspects of an operation.

The Medallion Five Star Shield program is voluntary and focuses on establishing and sustaining an elevated level of safety performance through:

  • The development of a safety culture that holds safety as a core value.
  • Continuous professional development of individual skills and competence.
  • Proactive sharing of operational control responsibilities.
  • Hazard identification and risk management.
  • Management practices that support the organization’s safety objectives.

The Medallion Foundation Five Star SMS program goes well beyond these definitions. It is a step-by-step approach that provides not only program and process guidelines, but specific training classes, one-on-one company mentoring in the areas addressed by the Five Stars, and auditing to determine if the applicant meets a specific Star requirement. In addition, a final external audit is conducted to determine if the applicant has incorporated the concepts into its organizational culture. Additional external audits are conducted each year to ensure the applicant is maintaining the required standard.

In order to maintain the Shield status, the operator must successfully pass an audit each year. If the operator does not pass the annual audit or if Medallion personnel note during on-site visits that a specific Star is not being properly addressed on a continuing basis, the Star and therefore Shield status may be revoked. There are procedures in place to reacquire the lost status, but it involves a more time-consuming procedure. The operator may have to cover the cost for an additional external audit that could also be required.

Endorsed by the Federal Aviation Administration

The FAA is supporting the Medallion Foundation in the implementation of this program. The FAA will jointly sign a certificate for the award of a Star after the Foundation personnel determine the operator has met the requirements of that star. Once an applicant has received all five Stars and passed a six-month audit, the applicant is eligible to be evaluated for the Medallion Shield. If that evaluation is passed successfully, the applicant will become a Medallion Foundation Shield Operator and may display the shield on their aircraft, if they so desire. Additionally, the standards of the Foundation exceed those required by government regulation in most areas. The guidelines have been enthusiastically endorsed by the FAA as well as the insurance industry and are looked upon as a positive step for the aviation industry in Alaska.

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