ATAC Response to the Throne Speech

Ottawa, September 24, 2020. The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) and its 175 Members and Industry Partners welcome the Government commitment found in yesterday’s Speech from the Throne concerning support to aviation in Canada. 

“… Government will work with partners to support regional routes for airlines. It is essential that Canadians have access to reliable and affordable regional air services. This is an issue of equity, of jobs, and of economic development. The Government will work to support this.”

As tens of thousands of aviation personnel have either lost their jobs outright or have been indefinitely laid off, our industry has been appealing to the Government to step up and help support the Canadian aviation industry now operating at levels 15-20% from those of one year ago. High fixed costs and greatly reduced activity is putting a strain on our operators that can no longer be sustained.

We look forward to commitments made in yesterday’s Throne Speech quickly translating into a desperately needed support for our industry.

The federal and provincial support shown to date to some segments of our industry, particularly in the North, has been greatly appreciated. Regional air services, however, connects Canadians from coast to coast not just in the North. Many regions of Canada depend on regional air services for their socio-economic survival.

Support to the air transport industry goes beyond financial aid. If the government truly wants to help our industry recover from the consequences of COVID-19, they need to temporarily ease the heavy financial and operational burden that the new Flight and Duty Time regulations impose. The timing of these very complex and costly regulations is hindering our members’ ability to recover from the pandemic and the government measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus.

ATAC has also been asking the Federal Government to show leadership and coordinate with provinces for the removal of air travel restrictions which greatly diminish our industry’s ability to recover and offer all Canadians the service they need. The remedy is the promotion and development of a rapid testing protocol that can be utilized across the aviation sector throughout Canada. This would facilitate the removal of the quarantine rules for travel to and within Canada.

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For media requests, please contact John McKenna, President and CEO, Air Transport Association of Canada. jmckenna@atac.ca or 613-301-3969