The Honourable Company of Air Pilots incorporating Air Navigators

The Master's Trophy - North America Region



Mr. William "Bill" Alder

Sealand Aviation Inc.


This nomination has four themes: consistent excellence, innovation, mentorship and public outreach.

Following graduation in 1976 from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Bill started his first aircraft maintenance business in Dawson Creek, B.C., Canada. Five years later he moved to Campbell River, B.C. where he formed and to this day operates, Sealand Aviation Ltd., a principal resource for commercial float planes operating in coastal logging and fishing industries. With a variety of partners, Bill has founded several Campbell River aerospace companies including Vancouver Island Air and E&B Helicopters. More recently, Bill formed Sealand Aerospace to manufacture the rudder, elevator and ailerons for the Series 400 Twin Otter produced by Viking Air of Victoria, B.C.

It is difficult to convey the culture of Sealand without experiencing it. Bill has an office but prefers to act as a resource on the floor to over forty licensed maintainers and craftsmen. He empowers people, and when they experience a setback, he coaches. Almost forty years of excellent service in a difficult industry speaks volumes. And when he feels he might be "getting stale," he and Nancy launch a road trip, trusting his staff to grow in his absence. One such odyssey took them to the tip of South America, in a camper truck. As a field mechanic and pilot, Bill has rescued aircraft from Russia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Australia, Fiji, Nicaragua, and Columbia.

Not content with maintenance, Bill innovates. Sealand Aviation holds over fifty Transport Canada and US FAA approvals for modifications to aircraft. Today, over forty percent of de Havilland Beavers in use worldwide have modifications designed and manufactured by Sealand.

Rest? Overrated. A mentor by temperament, especially to recently minted mechanics, Bill organized Teen Flight Campbell River in 2014. This aviation-based STEM program meets Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons to assemble a kit plane for flight and sale. The proceeds help students achieve their educational goals and buy the next kit. Participating students form solid work habits and grow their confidence in a shop environment.

Finally, Bill shares the special place he has created with members of the public. An "open environment," Sealand is never more open than during a summer festival called "Wings and Wheels" showcasing unique aircraft and cars. Thousands attend each year. Proceeds go to worthy community causes.


Previous Winners:

2019  Cougar Helicopters Inc

2018  Coulson Aviation

2017  Kenn Borek Air Ltd

2016  Saskatchewan Air Ambulance Service

2015  Civil Air Search and Resue Association (CASARA)

2014  No Award

2013  Bombardier Aerospace

2012  Boeing Company Training Systems and Government Services

2011  Conair Aviation Ltd


  • Since 1996, Bombardier Aerospace has staged annual Safety Standdown seminars worldwide.  Offered free-of-charge, these two- to four-day seminars target pilots of all aircraft types – regardless of the manufacturer.  Staged annually in Wichita, Geneva, Sao Paulo and Shanghai, they typically draw more than 450 corporate, commercial and military attendees.  Recognized by the U.S. Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Safety Standdown is led by globally recognized and experienced aviation, medical, astronaut, meteorological, ethical and scientific experts and focus on the “Leading Edge” Safety Management, Human Factors (convergent performance) and Error Control program; a Fatigue Management (alertness solutions) system; and Upset Recovery Training (aviation performance).   In 2011, the Flight Safety Foundation awarded the Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award to Bombardier Aerospace for Safety Standdown.



  • Two Bombardier organizations are repeat recipients of the FAA’s prestigious Diamond Award of Excellence:  Bombardier Flexjet – the world’s second largest fractional ownership provider currently operating a fleet of some 85 aircraft – has been honored for 14 consecutive years.   Concurrently, Bombardier’s maintenance repair and overhaul organization (MRO) facilities have been recognized for more than a decade, spearheaded by 14 consecutive years of recognition for the Hartford Service Center.  In addition, Bombardier’s eight MRO facilities in the U.S. were recently awarded a 2012 Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Diamond Award Certificate of Excellence, recognizing Bombardier’s commitment to offering customers access to the most highly skilled workforce through an extensive training program. 



·         Bombardier Aerospace is a worldwide pioneer in developing Safety Management Systems, or SMS, for design and manufacturing organizations. It is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization Working Group that developed ICAO Annex 19, officially adopted by the ICAO Council in February 2013 – and the first new Annex          developed by ICAO in many years.    Additionally, Bombardier is a member of the steering group for the FAA’s new Aviation Rulemaking Committee on SMS, and a regular contributor to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) E-CAST team and was recently invited to join the FAA’s CAST group.