West Wind Aviation cleared to fly again by Transport Canada after Fond-du-Lac crash

Transport Canada has given clearance for a northern Saskatchewan airline to carry passengers once again.

1 killed, 9 injured when passenger plane crashed near northern Saskatchewan community in December

West Wind Aviation has been cleared to transport passengers after one of its flights crashed near Fond-du-Lac, Sask., in December 2017. (Transportation Safety Board of Canada)

Transport Canada has given clearance for a northern Saskatchewan airline to carry passengers once again.

In December 2017, a twin-turboprop plane owned by West Wind Aviation crashed near the airport near Fond-du-Lac, Sask., 800 kilometres north of Saskatoon. Nine passengers were seriously injured and one died in hospital after the crash.

While the federal regulator grounded the airline shortly after the accident, it will now allow the airline to operate again.

"We thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this challenging period and look forward to welcoming them back," said West Wind CEO Pat Campling Jr. in a news release.

"Our renewed management team and our entire organization have an unwavering commitment to safe operations."

Transport Canada said West Wind had addressed the regulator's concerns about deficiencies in the company's operational control system. The system regulates the company's day-to-day operations and makes sure flights are in compliance with safety requirements, like dispatching personnel and aircraft.

In the Fond-du-Lac crash, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation found West Wind staff didn't de-ice the plane before takeoff. The de-icing equipment at the airport included a hand-held spray bottle with an electric blanket and wand, along with a container of de-icing fluid.

At the time, a former Transport Canada inspector called the equipment "woefully inadequate."

Seven people have filed a class-action lawsuit against the airline, claming negligence.

In March, the company laid off 10 pilots, blaming an economic slowdown in the province.

In a statement, Transport Canada said it will closely monitor West Wind Aviation to make sure the company complies with regulations.