Aerospace company caught in legal battle with Colombian government

Ryan Ross
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Vector Aerospace, Slemon Park

A Prince Edward Island aerospace company has found itself in the middle of a legal battle over the fate of two airplane engines it was hired to overhaul for the National Police of Colombia.

The engines were sent to Vector Aerospace in Summerside in 2011 for an overhaul after the Colombian government seized them.

Since then, a legal battle over the engines' ownership has been playing out in P.E.I.'s courts and last year a supreme court judge ordered they not be returned to Colombia.

The issue revolves around two engines from a De Havilland Dash 8 airplane that the Colombian government seized in 2011 after a dispute over how the plane entered the country.

A company called Regional One Inc. owned the plane and was leasing it to Aerovias de Avacion Regional Aires when it entered Colombia in 2010.

Aerovias de Avacion Regional Aires didn't have the proper paperwork filled out in order to import the plane.

A year later Colombia's national tax and customs department issued a forfeiture order and seized the plane, which it later transferred to the National Police of Colombia (CNP).

The CNP hired a company to overhaul and repair the airplane, and the engines were eventually sent to Vector Aerospace.

Regional One tried unsuccessfully to get the plane back from the Colombian government and in April the company transferred its interest in the plane to Dash 224, which is an affiliated business.

Dash 224 successfully sought a temporary order through the P.E.I. Supreme Court to keep the engines in the province.

That order has been extended several times.

The CNP filed an appeal in December, which is scheduled for a hearing before the P.E.I. Court of Appeal on May 26.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Vector Aerospace, P.E.I. Supreme Court

Geographic location: Colombia, Prince Edward Island, Summerside Aerovias de Avacion Regional Aires

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