Minister Garneau introduces new safety measures to protect Canadians from laser attacks on aircraft

ATAC applauds Minister Garneau and Transport Canada on their actions today to prohibit laser attacks on aircraft. This latest announcement of the prohibition and the associated fines regarding lasers for those ignoring the Interim Order are strongly supported by ATAC and its members in the imperative need to protect aviation passengers and crew.

Air industry association asks Minister Garneau to align Canadian flight and duty times with US regulations

Ottawa, June 19, 2018. The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) is asking Minister Garneau not to impose new regulations on aviation flight and duty time and better align Canada’s rules with those of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  

The Minister refuses to consider the overwhelming opposition to his proposed rules. Industry has repeatedly cautioned the Minister that the proposed regulations, as published in Canada Gazette 1 last July, would have a detrimental impact on our industry and the services offered to Canadians. In addition to Canada’s aviation industry leaders’ call to reason, numerous colleagues from the government caucus have voiced serious concerns on the devastating impact these rules will have on service to remote and northern regions.

John McKenna, ATAC President and CEO, said “In addition, the timing could not be worse given the 30% increase these ill-conceived rules will have on the pilot shortage facing our industry. A different approach is required if the Minister is to reach his goal of increasing aviation safety in Canada because operators have clearly demonstrated that the proposed new rules would impair safety rather than increase it!”

Rather than insist on a one-size-fits-all approach on such an important issue, why not learn from the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and develop a sector by sector approach? To impose rules that are stricter than that in our partners is to threaten the very livelihood of many sectors of our industry and Canadians will be the first victims, especially those in remote and northern regions.

The answer to this impasse is to revisit the projected new rules and aim for greater alignment with the FAA model.

McKenna concluded “We are not asking the Minister to set aside his objectives of improved safety, International Civil Aviation Organization compliance, and alignment with other jurisdictions such as the FAA and EASA. On the contrary, we are offering to work with him to ensure that those objectives are met through regulations adapted to the Canadian context and industry structure. Government needs to consult rather than dictate such important changes to industry. Take the time required to implement a set of rules that Canadians can live by rather than threaten service to Canadians.”

For more information, contact:

John McKenna                                               

President and CEO

Air Transport Association of Canada

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 613-301-3969

ATAC and HAC Ask for Sector by Sector Regulations

Ottawa, May 7, 2018. The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) and the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC) are asking Minister Garneau to review his proposed changes in Flight and Duty Time regulations to consider aviation sector differences.

“We are inviting the Minister to pause and sit with industry before implementing changes that would have disastrous consequences on commercial aviation in Canada”, said John McKenna, ATAC President and CEO. He went on to say “None of industry’s concerns voiced over the past eight years have yet to result in an iota of change in the proposed regulations. This is unacceptable and goes against the mandate given by the Prime Minister to engage in ‘constructive dialogue with Canadians, … stakeholders, including business… and identifying ways to find solutions and avoid escalading conflicts unnecessarily.’”

Industry considers that the Minister has Gazetted the most important regulatory changes to occur in aviation for the past decade. ATAC and HAC say that these changes will cause prices to go up for all Canadians, put smaller carriers out of business, and will seriously threaten service to Indigenous, northern, and remote regions of Canada - hurting those who depend the most on aviation as a lifeline. This will inevitably lead to serious job losses in the regions.

To make matters worse, a recent government funded study indicates that the proposed set of regulations will require 26% more pilots to offer the current level of service. This at a time when industry is already grappling with a serious pilot shortage.

Fred Jones, HAC President and CEO stated that “This set of proposed regulations doesn’t take into account the many different sectors in Canadian aviation. You can’t impose regulations designed for the ultra-long-haul carriers on seasonal, business, or remote helicopter operations. The Canadian Aviation Regulations were conceived with these different types of operations in mind, so why now impose a one-size-fits-all set of rules? Both the USA and Europe have excluded vast sectors of the industry from their new Flight and Duty Time regulations, for now - including regional carriers, cargo, medevac and the helicopter industry - until they can prepare regulatory solutions that fit different types of commercial operations.”

The two national association presidents pointed out that Canada has one of the best safety records in the world, and that pilot fatigue has never been identified as a causal factor in any commercial accident. They also pointed out that fatigue has never appeared on the Transportation Safety Board Watch List for aviation. Jones said, “Canada is a world innovator in Safety Management Systems - a process whereby carriers can manage their own risks – including pilot hours of work”.

“We are not asking the Minister to back down from his intention to modernize Canadian regulations on Flight and Duty Time”, concluded Mr. McKenna, “we are simply asking him to pause, to work with all stakeholders to draft a revised set of regulations that will not threaten our competitiveness, and minimize the impact on Canadians everywhere - but particularly to those northern, remote, and indigenous communities who depend on aviation the most. Let’s put our heads together to make this work while protecting the best interests of Canadians.”

For more information, please contact:

John McKenna                                          Fred Jones

President and CEO                                   President and CEO

Air Transport Association of Canada        Helicopter Association of Canada

(613) 233-7727                                         (613) 231-1110

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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