August/September News Update
CAC Prepares for Another Season of Policy, Legislative and Regulatory Reforms
With extensive work going into a CAC submission to David Emerson's
Canada Transportation Act Review
, the final report of which was released last year, the CAC has seen several consecutive years of substantive discussion on air transport policy initiatives. Over the past few months in particular, the CAC has been working with government on several areas of policy, legislative and regulatory affairs to implement parts of the Emerson report.
In addition to dealing with wait times concerns for screening and border services, outlined below, the CAC has participated in the legislative process on Bill C-49, which implements some of the transport policy commitments Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced last year in the areas of "air traveller rights" and foreign ownership of airlines. But while Minister Garneau's commitments last year also included commitments on CATSA, and there has been progress on that, money and structural reforms to implement those commitments have not yet been confirmed.
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)
CATSA's current target to process 85 per cent of passengers in under 15 minutes results in about 10 million travellers waiting anywhere from 16 minutes to an hour or more in line. The CAC does not believe this target is adequate; moreover airports tell us it is not being consistently met. And some airports are also spending millions of dollars a year to top up a service that travellers are already paying for through the Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC). This undermines the goal of reducing the cost of air travel in Canada, as airports have to recover costs from users.
In a response to considerable industry advocacy efforts, Transport Minister Garneau committed in November last year to look at the CATSA governance model, to make its funding more nimble to growing demand, and accountable to service standards. The CAC met extensively with Transport and Finance this summer as part of consultations on a long-term funding solution for CATSA. The CAC understands that changes for CATSA will be considered by cabinet later this year.
Finding a long-term solution is essential for passengers who deserve predictability and value for the ATSC they pay. Between now and when any changes may be implemented, the CAC contends that CATSA needs to be sufficiently funded to support demand and allocating all revenue from the ATSC to CATSA screening is a good place to start. The CAC is also calling for government to restart its stalled investments in CATSA Plus lanes - which are improving the traveller experience where they have been installed. These are the requests that the CAC put forward in its submissions to government as part of pre-budget consultations, on which the CAC appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance last month. It was also the message delivered before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport when the CAC appeared on C-49 earlier in the month.
Security screening in Canada needs to be adequately funded to an internationally competitive service standard, and the CAC looks forward to working with government to see changes to CATSA implemented.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
The CAC also continues its efforts to see CBSA resources support growing air service demands, as well as continued innovation. International arriving passengers are the fastest growing segment, with 10 per cent growth so far this year outpacing last year's numbers.
Working with CBSA, airports have invested millions of dollars in technology and infrastructure to speed up and improve the traveller experience. Significant investments have been made by airports in Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIK) to further automate routine customs processes for most arriving and transiting passengers. Airports also continue to work with CBSA and its counterparts at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to develop new connection processes to improve efficiency and customer service while maintaining, and even enhancing, the border's integrity.
This past summer, CBSA worked tremendously hard with airports to manage a heavy volume of travellers. This summer has been worse than most in some airports though, with full customs halls, meaning airlines have had to keep passengers on their aircraft at the gate at times - the kind of delays airports are working as an industry to avoid. In addition to its security role, CBSA has an important business, trade and tourism role in this country. While better technologies and processes are being developed, we still need to reinforce resources for border control officers in the field.
These messages were also delivered in the CAC's 2018 pre-budget submission and in its presentations before the House Transport and Finance vommittees.
Other Budget Requests
The CAC's pre-budget submission also included recommendations on airport rent (eliminate it for all airports with less than 3 million passengers and at least cap it for the others) and on the introduction of Arrivals Duty Free.
Canadian Airports Safety Week Underway at Airports Across Canada
Canada's airports are working together next week to promote healthy and safe airports as part of Canadian Airports Safety Week. The initiative is being organized by the Canadian Airports Council (CAC), in
collaboration with 29 participating airports across the country.
"Safety is always the number one priority in aviation.
nadian Airports Safety Week brings thousands of airport workers together in t
eir communities to focus attention on key areas of industry safety," said Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the
CAC. "The continued safety and security of Canada's skies depend not only on well-maintained infrastructure and modern equipment but also on the training and ongoing vigilance of the many workers at airports who proudly u
d a high commitment to safety on a daily basis
will be ho
ing a variety of activities to promote the following themes:
Day 1 - Monday, Octobe
r 2nd: Worker Safety
Day 2 - Tuesday, October 3rd
: Airside Safety
Day 3 - Wednesday, Octo
ber 4th: Security Safety
Day 4 - Thursday, October 5th: Hazard Reporting and Environmental Safety
Day 5 - Friday, October 6th: Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Free Friday
Canadian Airports Safety Week is a collaborative effort, and represents a commitment to educate and improve knowledge and enthusiasm for safety. It was first launched in 2015, with 24 participating airports across the country.
Toronto Pearson releases Noise Management Program Benchmarking and Best Practices report
As a part of its commitment to mitigating noise impacts for residents who are negatively affected by aircraft noise, the Toronto Pearson International Airport commissioned a noise management benchmarking and best practices study.
The purpose of the study is to determine what successful measures other international airports have taken to reduce the impacts of operational noise. The study looked at 11 areas of noise management at 26 airports around the world to identify potential new programs to be adopted at Toronto Pearson.
Recommendations from this study will be used to help inform the airport's
updated five-year Noise Management Action Plan, which will be released before the end of 2017. The goal of the updated action plan will be to balance the impacts of aircraft noise on neighbours.
As a more immediate step, the airport will begin work on a quieter fleet incentive program. This incentive program, which was recommended in both the airport's Best Practices study and Nav Canada's Independent Toronto Area Airspace Noise Review, will become an important cornerstone of the airport's new noise management program.
The quieter fleet program will encourage air carriers to retrofit or retire aircraft that are noisier and, or, cause a higher degree of irritation for community members, such as the noticeable whine created by the Airbus 320 series. Toronto Pearson will be working with our airline partners towards implementing this program in the next 18 to 24 months.
Border Control at Montréal-Trudeau Reports Positive Results
Measures implemented this summer by the Canada Border Services Agency and A
éroports de Montreal (ADM) have resulted in lower wait times at customs.
While there has been a 10 per cent growth in the number of passengers at international arrivals, the average wait time has been less than 10 minutes. No one waited more than 45 minutes, compared to 27 occurrences in 2016.
In July, CBSA and ADM unveiled a series of measures to accelerate border clearance processes, including the creation of a connections centre, and the addition of automated terminals and inspection lines, as well as an increase in customs and ADM personnel.
Since 2012, ADM has invested $12 million, including $6 million for the 2017 summer season and the next phases of improvement are to come.
Vancouver International Airport Awarded for Growth and Development at World Routes Conference
The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) was recognized for its outstanding efforts at the 2017 World Routes Marketing Awards on September 25th in Barcelona. The annual event celebrates excellence in marketing and development in the aviation industry.
For the first time, YVR was the winner in the 20 to 50 million passengers category and the overall winner, demonstrating the strength of the airport's vision, leadership and growth strategy.
"This is an incredible achievement for our airport, our province and our partners," said Craig Richmond, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Airport Authority.
"These awards are testament to our airport's commitment to providing social and economic benefits to the region, our innovative programs such as ConnectYVR, which lowered airline rates to some of the lowest in North America, and the tireless work of our dedicated team, a team that truly understands our mission of connecting British Columbia proudly to the world."
The World Routes Marketing Awards recognizes airports that demonstrate exceptional air service development. The award process includes nominations from airlines and industry experts, followed by a comprehensive review by an industry committee that looks for airports that have provided outstanding support for air services and network growth.
YVR has taken extra steps to build meaningful relationships with airlines and local communities through strategic partnerships -- from sponsoring festivals and volunteering with local charities.
In 2016, the airport welcomed a record 22.3 million passengers, a growth of 9.7 per cent, and the airport is on track to meet its ambitious goal of 25 million passengers by 2020.
New Airport Manager Hired at Kamloops Airport
Heather McCarley has been promoted to airport manager at the Kamloops Airport. She replaces Fred Legace, who was manager of the airport for 15 years.
She brings to the role more than 25 years of airport operations experience at both smaller regional airports and major hub airports.
McCarley began her career in aviation in 1987 at the Boundary Bay Airport in British Columbia, obtaining her private pilot's license and working for the airport operator. She received her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of British Columbia while gaining experience with regional airline and ground handling companies. McCarley joined Vancouver Airport Authority in July 1995.
Past roles with the Vancouver Airport Authority included operations shift manager, where she held responsibility for the real-time operation of the airport, and manager of community relations, working closely with community groups, government and schools, and managing tours, special events, filming and VIP programs.
In September 2017, McCarley joined Vantage Airport Group as the managing director of the Kamloops Airport. One of the many things she loves about her job is the everyday connection she has with the Kamloops airport team, business partners and the Kamloops community.
Vantage Airport Group News Story
Canada's airports are major contributors of jobs, both on site and in communities and throughout the country. Learn more about the actions they are taking to create vibrant places to work at: hub.cacairports.ca
Gander Airport Renovates its Aging Air Terminal Building
As part of its capital planning review, the Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) has opted to pursue a renovation of its air terminal building.
"As a board, we are committed to the most fiscally prudent approach
to address our outdated, inefficient and oversized terminal building," said GIAA Chairperson Des Dillon. "A renovation, retrofit and rightsizing of our terminal building gives us the greatest probability of success."
The proposed renovation carries a hard construction cost of $26.4 million. The plan includes removing 31 per cent of the building, which represents an area reduction of 4,242 square meters. The two key areas to be removed include the east loading pier, known locally as the "finger", which has been mothballed for decades, as well as
the oversized flight kitchen and adjacent underutilized facilities on the southern side of the building.
Public areas of the airport will see major finishes and upgrades. The concept calls for a complete replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems, including a supplemental geothermal energy system. International and domestic baggage halls will be consolidated and expanded. The control tower will be renovated and the plan calls for the air terminal building to receive new insulation, roofing, glazing and cladding systems.
The historic international transit lounge will be retained and restored and serve as the domestic departures hold room, with a movable pa
rtition to accommodate sterile international passengers. A relocated food concession will allow full menu service pre- and post-security.
GIAA President and CEO Reg Wright said
this approach will underpin the airport's long-term viability, noting that building maintenance and energy expenses ran $1.2 million in 2016, despite suppressed heating oil prices.
"This is about making investments that insulate the airport against risk
- especially with regard to energy costs. Older buildings are subject to failure, regardless of how proactive your preventative maintenance program. Our mechanical and electrical systems are largely archaic and well past useful lifespan," said Wright. "By reducing our footprint and resultant energy consumption, engineers expect we can realize energy savings of $300,000 annually. Utility savings have a direct correlation with our profitability and viability."
The original portion of the air terminal building was commissioned in 1959 while subsequent additions were made in the late 70s.
"This is about right-sizing - getting the airport a cost-efficient home to meet its current and projected future needs," said Wright. "The building has its shortcomings, but it is structurally sound, so there's a strong spine we can build on to get the benefit of a significant renovation without the hefty cost of a new building. This approach allows us to retain and celebrate the historic essence of Gander International Airport. This will also improve the passenger experience at Gander. After all, we are the welcome mat to Central Newfoundland. This will help us to deliver the contemporary, efficient passenger experience we strive for."
Wright explained that, after seven years of lobbying, the federal government enacted a change in policy last month that allowed National Airport System (NAS) airports like Gander to compete for Federal funding. The GIAA has commenced discussions with government officials about support for the terminal project.
"Government listened attentively to our concerns and made an important policy change. This allows us to seek out provincial and federal investment in this all-important project like every other small airport in Canada," said Wright. "There have been 50 jobs created here over the last two years and another 50 in the pipeline in the aerospace sector for the next few years. Against that context, we are seeking a one-time investment from government partners that gives us a foundation for the next forty years. Public sector investments will be quickly repaid in the forms of jobs, growth and incremental taxes."
In Other News....
Halifax Stanfield Begins Airfield Restoration Program
The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has begun a 10-year airfield restoration program to maintain the integrity of a high traffic area, and ensure long-term safety and reliability. Repairs have been made to the south apron, and work has begun on the taxiway alpha. About an 800 metre section of the airport's main runway will also be restored this year.
Moncton Airport Welcomes New Board Members
The Greater Moncton Romeo Leblanc International Airport announced the appointment of Authur Allen and Scott Lewis to its board for a two-year term. Arthur Allan is retired from an executive position at Transport Canada where he shared responsibility for the development and implementation of the national aviation oversight program. Scott Lewis has a chartered investment manager designation, and brings knowledge in business management and investment. He is the past chair of the board of directors of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce.
Ottawa Airport Announces New Chair and Member of its Board of Directors
Dr. Chris Carruthers is the new chair of the Ottawa International Airport Authority Board, replacing Susan St. Amand, whose term expired earlier this year. Dr. Carruthers has extensive executive experience, including as the former chief of staff of the Ottawa Hospital. He has served on the airport authority board since 2010. Also joining the board as director is Michèle Lafontaine. She is a notary with the firm Gagné Isabelle Patry Laflamme & Associés. She is an experienced advisor on improving governance practices for both private and public organizations, and is a member the Gatineau Health Foundation and Vision Multisport Outaouais boards.