Olympic hurdle for Qualicum Beach’s KD Air

Diana and Lars Banke aren’t making much headway in their attempt to sue the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) for monies lost because of enhanced security procedures during the 2010 Olympics, but they aren’t ready to give up yet.

KD Air has a long flight ahead in its battle for compensation for the impact of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

KD Air has a long flight ahead in its battle for compensation for the impact of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Diana and Lars Banke aren’t making much headway in their attempt to sue the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) for monies lost because of enhanced security procedures during the 2010 Olympics, but they aren’t ready to give up yet.

The owners of KD Air, a short-haul airline operating out of Qualicum Beach, are pressing on, despite hitting a large patch of legal turbulence.

Diane said KD Air lost an estimated $34,000 because of the extra security required for the Games, which is the amount she and husband Lars are seeking in the lawsuit.

During the Olympics, and for a period before and after the sporting event was taking place, KD Air and other airlines were forced to fly to airports that had special screening procedures in place, meaning KD Air had to fly to Nanaimo, disembark the passengers and go through screening prior to flying on to Vancouver. That extra stop, the Bankes allege, cost the company, both in terms of extra fuel and extra time — and lost business.

“We’re going after $34,000 because that’s how much we lost,” Banke said. “It’s on the books, plain as day.”

While she says her cause is just and case strong, she isn’t expecting to bring the case in for a landing any time soon.

“We had a conference call about a month ago and the government stated they were not going to accept anything,” she said. “They said they were at no fault whatsoever and denied the nuisance charge, so we are going a different route.”

That route, she said is to attempt to sue for negligence in terms of the airline’s own certificates of incorporation.

“It states that we are allowed to do our regular business,” Banke said.

Even if the new tack is successful, Banke said she knows she has a long flight ahead of her.

“It’s going to take a few years to recoup our losses,” she said. “We were in a downswing before the Olympics because of the weather as it was. We’re just keeping our chins up and doing everything we possibly can. It could be 18 months before we even get an answer.”

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