Island Air Receives Five Star Aviation Safety Award <


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Island Air Receives Five Star Aviation Safety Award

By Bill Goldston

February 9, 2010 - Island Air, an on-demand air charter company based in Friday Harbor, Washington, has been recognized for its long standing safety record by receiving the Five Star Safety Award from Phoenix Aviation Managers Inc.

The award was presented in Friday Harbor on February 4, 2010. Island Air has been insured by Phoenix Aviation Managers for more than 8 years and has received the most safety awards ever given to a Phoenix insured air carrier. They have flown over 100,000 flights and 250,000 passengers without a mishap. This award recognizes Island Air for its continuing commitment to safety throughout the company's operations.  

"Island Air is the benchmark by which we evaluate the safety of air charter operators nationally,” said Tom Harris, Vice President of Inspection Services for Phoenix. “Phoenix Aviation Managers is a company that prides itself on going the extra mile and we are proud to provide coverage to insureds that are committed to going the extra mile towards safety. Congratulations to Island Air for their impeccable safety record and for setting the standard in aviation safety excellence.”

Caption for attached photo of presentation (L to R): Roger Ridings, Executive Vice President, Phoenix Aviation Managers Andrea Sossa, Commercial Underwriter, Phoenix Aviation Managers Jackie Hamilton, President, Island Air Jason Wissmiller, Agent, Regal Aviation Insurance Tom Harris, Vice President, Phoenix Aviation Managers


Island Air, founded in 1992, by the late William F. Sargeson and his daughter Jackie Sargeson Hamilton, is currently one of the largest woman-owned and managed air carriers in the U.S. They provide flight services throughout the San Juan Islands, the Pacific Northwest, and British Columbia. Utilizing a fleet of six Cessna aircraft, Island Air operates about 4,500 flights per year, all of them on-demand charter.

The company's staff includes eight pilots, many of them veteran pilots with over 20 years experience. Collectively, they average more than 13 years of Island flying experience and a combined experience of more than 75,000 accident-free flight hours. Island Air’s standards for its pilots and aircraft far exceed those established by the Federal Air Regulations. “All of us at Island Air are humbled and honored to be the first in the U.S. to receive this award which recognizes our vigilance towards safety,” said Jackie Hamilton.  


Based on its safety record, Island Air was granted certification by the State of Washington to perform fixed wing air ambulance services for the remote saltwater islands of San Juan County. Island Air’s Cessna 206 was the first small aircraft licensed for air ambulance service by the FAA in the Continental United States. This service has dramatically shortened the time needed to transport patients to medical facilities by eliminating the need for a ferry or boat transport. In addition, the residents of this community felt so strongly about Island Air performing these services that they “chipped in” (at considerable cost) to help purchase the necessary medical support equipment.  

Island Air’s consistent emphasis on safety is a critical component of our joint air ambulance activity. Their safety record provides great peace of mind to our patients as they are being transported aboard an Island Air Ambulance, Congratulations to the entire Island Air team on this prestigious award” said San Juan Island EMS Chief Jim Cole. 

Phoenix Aviation Managers, Inc. has been serving general aviation – from private pilots to commercial operators – by providing quality aviation insurance products through local independent insurance agents and brokers for the past 26 years. Phoenix Aviation Managers is a wholly owned subsidiary of Old Republic International Corporation, one of the nation’s largest publicly held insurance enterprises, with four branch offices across the United States: Seattle, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta which also serves as their home office.  

Island Air Inc. is a safety award winning, charter company that has provided on-demand flight services throughout the San Juan Islands, Pacific Northwest, and British Columbia since 1992.

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