About

The members of the BASI team consist of professionals and a diverse group of talented individuals who bring expertise to individual projects. The core team members of BASI are:


Buoyant Aircraft Systems International is pleased to announce their research facility located near Midland, Ontario. This facility is focussed on developing new materials and methods to secure helium and hydrogen for use as a fuel and lift in cargo airships. For more information please contact Dale George at 1-705-533-9979.



Dr. Barry Prentice - Co-founder and President

Dr. Prentice is a Professor at the University of Manitoba and the former Director (1996-2005) of the Transport Institute. His major research and teaching interests include logistics, transportation economics, northern transport and trade policy. Dr. Prentice holds a degree in economics from University of Western Ontario (1973) and graduate degrees from University of Guelph (MSc, 1979) and University of Manitoba (PhD, 1986).

Dr. Prentice has authored or co-authored more than 250 research reports, journal articles and contributions to books. His scholarly work has been recognized for excellence in national paper competitions and awards. In 1999, National Transportation Week named him Manitoba Transportation Person of the Year.

In 2009, Dr. Prentice was made a Life-time Member of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum. Dr. Prentice was instrumental in founding a major in transportation and logistics within the B.Comm. (Hons.) Program at the I. H. Asper School of Business (fall 2003). Since that time a new Department of Supply Chain Management has been formed, and in 2006 a M.Sc. program in supply chain management was initiated.

Dr. Prentice has served on the Boards of Directors of several transportation organizations: National Transportation Week (President, 2001 and 2003), Honourary President of the Canadian Institute for Traffic and Transportation (2001-3) and the Canadian Transportation Research Forum (Past President, 1997). Dr. Prentice is the President of ISO Polar Airships that he co-founded in 2005 as a not-for-profit research institute to promote the use of airships as sustainable transport for the northern latitudes. He has organized five Airships to the Arctic conferences to promote the use of buoyant aircraft for serving remote locations.


Dale George - Co-founder & CTO

Dale graduated with honours in Industrial Design Engineering at Georgian College. He has won many awards and scholarships including the prestigious Design Canada Award and Ontario's Premiers Award. As well, he holds many design and intellectual patents and was a guest of honour at the Innovation Center at The University of Waterloo.

Dale's many talents include research and conceptual design, development of new materials and methods, copyright and patent abstract and description writing. Dale co-founded Mobile Airships Inc. and provided technical and design support to Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA for their study of Lighter-Than-Air flight exploration of Titan, Io and MARS. Dale founded Canadian Airship Manufacturing Inc. (CAMI) and was awarded the green light by Transport Canada to begin to establish Canada's first airship construction, flight testing and pilot training center. He has worked with Magenn Power Inc, developers of the world's first high altitude wind turbine. Dale was the go-to-guy on this project which was recently show-cased on The Discovery Channel's 'Infinite Winds'.

Dale is a member of the Airship Association, EAA, COPA, UPAC, and MAAC, holds a private pilot's license, and has restored and owned many different aircraft, including airships. Some of Dale's major accomplishments include designing the first commercial all plastic back-yard playground slide and was the lead working consultant with CSA and UL to establish the first playground safety standards. Dale provided the first conceptual designs for cell phones in the early eighties known as Radio Phones. He also designed the first commercial pre-school specific play structure known then as 'Kid Spaces'. Today, it's better known as the 'McDonald's Play Land'.


Ross Prentice - CEO

Ross has a strong background in transportation and is truly passionate about understanding how it shapes our world. In addition to a professional designation in logistics, he has worked for nearly 20 years in the intermodal transportation industry.

By the nature of his family relationship, Ross kept abreast of nearly all things related to cargo airships for his entire life. Over the years he has contributed multiple volunteer hours assisting with a variety of things including the assembly, testing and ground handling of a research airship.

Along with this practical experience, he has a strong desire to help less fortunate people. The cargo airship industry has a chance to improve the quality of life of people who are living in remote communities in Canada and around the world. 

His background, along with many years working and understanding transportation business process and practice, has prepared Ross to lead BASI into the next phase of development.


Mario Mantaci, P.Eng. - BASI Chief Engineer

President and Founder of DUMA Engineering Inc.

Mario started his career as a lead mechanical designer at SKF in Turin, Italy and Gothenburg, Sweden.

After few years, he joined Rodriquez Engineering as Engineering Manager for Genova and Messina Shipyards where he gained considerable experience in the design of high-speed crafts and hydrofoils.

Mario covered also technical and executive positions in the Aerospace Industry as Program Manager Director at Aviointeriors and Supplier Program Manager at Boeing.

Prior to founding DUMA Engineering, he was Corporate Manager of Engineering and Processes at Motor Coach Industries in Winnipeg, Canada.

Mario holds a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy. He’s member of the National Italian College of Engineers since 1994, Registered Professional Engineer in Canada since 2006 and a Certified ISO Auditor.


Dan Klippenstein - Operations Advisor

Dan Klippenstein is the President and a director of Excel Playgreen Group Inc. He completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture at the University of Manitoba in 1979 and majored in Animal Science. Dan completed a Masters of Business Administration degree at the University of Manitoba in 1994. Upon completion of his MBA degree, Dan established Excel Pork Farms Ltd. which offers investment opportunities in the hog industry. In 1994, Dan raised $1,250,000 to build Excel Pork Limited Partnership which is still operating today. Dan created Excel Playgreen Group Inc. in 1998 to manage the limited partnership farms. By 2000, Dan had raised an additional $6.5 million and initiated three more limited partnership hog farm investments by private placement offerings. Dan managed the construction and developed the management programs for the farms. Excel Playgreen Group Inc. manages a total of $17,000,000 in farm assets and $12,000,000 in sales annually. Mr. Klippenstein's experience in business management and investment development provides the knowledge and experience to develop a successful business in the airship industry.


Sarfraz Ahmed, B.Sc.Eng. - Design Engineer

Sarfraz is a Mechanical Engineer with over 5 years combined engineering experience with BASI and Motor Coach Industries. As a Design Engineer at BASI, Sarfraz has worked on several design development projects to date with varying levels of technology readiness (from concept to realization), collaborating with private and national research facilities, academia and industrial partners.


He's inspired by zero-emissions and Airship technology and passionate about contributing towards development of airborne transport infrastructure for remote communities around the globe.


Sarfraz holds a Mechanical Engineering degree (Aerospace Conc.) from University of Manitoba and is the recipient of '2016 Friends of Engineering - Student of the Year' award. He is a certified member of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba since 2016 and registered member with Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Manitoba since 2013.