|CAC Welcomes Lisa Raitt as the New Minister of Transport|
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced changes to the federal Ministry
on July 15th. According to the federal government, these changes will "continue to focus on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in all regions of the country."
In the midst of the government's cabinet shuffle, the department of Transport was appointed a new minister. The Canadian Airports Council congratulates Lisa Raitt on her appointment as Minister of Transport.
"Minister Raitt is a familiar face in the airports community, having been instrumental in the early build-up of what is now the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport," said CAC President Daniel-Robert Gooch. "We look forward to working with Minister Raitt in her new portfolio as Minister of Transport, which will include ongoing efforts surrounding air transport policy, safety and security."
Minister Raitt was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008 and then re-elected in 2011. She was appointed Minister of Natural Resources in October 2008 and Minister of Labour in January 2010.
Prior to her election to the House of Commons, Ms. Raitt was the president and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority (TPA). She had previously served as the TPA's general counsel and harbourmaster.
The CAC also thanks Minister Denis Lebel for his time with the Transport portfolio, a time during which industry and government consultation on the future of Canada's air transport sector was notably advanced.
|Canada Introduces ePassports|
Passport Canada introduced new and improved security features for Canadian passports on July 1st.
ePassports contain an electronic chip that enhances the passport's current security features. This added security measure was recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2003 and over 100 countries, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, are already issuing ePassports.
Adult applicants now have the option of applying for a 5- or 10-year passport for both first-time applications and renewals. Also, all children's passports are now issued for a maximum of 5 years.
Canadians who would like to make sure that the information stored on their e-chip is accurate may do so by visiting one of Passport Canada's 34 offices
|Tourism Industry Says Foreign Service Worker Strike May Cost Canada |
|The rotating strike by foreign service workers that began in the spring have continued well into the summer, an issue that may end up costing Canada $280 million dollars in travel, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. |
The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers withdrew all services from Canada's 15 largest visa processing centres. These centres are located in Abu Dhabi, Ankara, Beijing, Cairo, New Delhi/Chandigarh, Hong Kong, London, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, Paris, Riyadh, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai.
In the largest centres like Beijing, Manila, New Delhi and Mexico City, visa processing is expected to drop as much as 65 per cent.
"We are disappointed the union has walked away from the mediation process, just as we were profoundly disappointed that they purposefully chose this time of year for their action - when we have the highest volume of both visitor and student visas," TIAC President David Goldstein said to Postmedia News.
The union, who represents 1,350 members, said the Canadian government is responsible for the impacts of closing the centres.
"We take no pleasure whatsoever in these strike actions and their real, severe, and mounting effects on the Canadian economy," the union said in an article by the Globe and Mail. "PAFSO encourages all individuals, businesses, and industry associations with a stake in the outcome of our dispute to intervene with the government and urge them to bargain freely and flexibly with their own employees."
Reports indicate that talks between the union and the federal government broke off towards the end of the month.
Among other points of contention, one of the major items that the two sides reportedly are at odds over the salary ranges paid to the public service. The union indicates that federal government employees earn up to $14,000 for comparable work elsewhere in government.
The government rejects these comparisons and noted that foreign service jobs are in high demand.
The most recent development, as reported by CBC News, indicates that the union has filed a complaint with the Public Service Labour Relations Board.
|OMB Rules in Favour of Aerotropolis Plan in Hamilton|
The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruled in favour of a major expansion around the Hamilton International Airport on July 3rd. The City of Hamilton can now move ahead with the Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD). This decision marks the largest urban boundary expansion in Hamilton's history.
The Ontario Municipal Board ruled earlier in July to allow the city to go ahead with its plan to develop over 500 hectares of land surrounding the Hamilton International Airport. Source and photo credit: Hamilton International Airport/DMNikas.
Plans for 'Aerotropolis' call for the development of 555 hectares of industrial and commercial growth around the Hamilton International Airport by 2031.
During the process of making its submission to the OMB, the city trimmed down the proposed size of the AEGD from 700 hectares to the current proposed amount. City planners have to redraw the boundaries for the AEGD before it gets final approval for the plan.
City council would then vote to select a configuration and the matter would then go to the OMB for its final stamp of approval. Once the plan clears Phase III of the OMB process, it could be over a year until the city moves to install infrastructure, such as additional roads and sewer systems, to parts of the AEGD lands.
"We're looking 2015-2016 to get the major upgrade to the area," Guy Paparella, the director of the city's industrial parks and airport development division, said in an interview with the CBC.
In the meantime, the city has to complete environmental assessments for the upgrades before work can begin and market the area to prospective investors.
"This is a 23-30 year plan," explained Mr. Paparella. "We want to make sure that all of efforts create a long-term legacy for Hamilton and not just a short-term fix."
The city says it will attract as many as 80,000 jobs and bring in as much as $70 million per year in taxes by 2031.
|Tallest Free-Standing Air Traffic Control Tower in Canada Opens in Calgary|
Plans to move ahead with a $600 million runway project that will give the Calgary airport the capacity to land larger aircraft will finally get moving and ready for 2014 thanks to a new air traffic control tower.
Photo credit: NAV Canada
The air traffic control tower is also the tallest facility of its kind in Canada. The new tower measures more than 300 feet from top to bottom, which is nearly twice the height of Calgary's old tower.
"We had to do an analysis of what would be a perfect location to give the controllers the ability to see the entire area," said the manager of the Calgary air traffic control tower, Wayne Nyman, in an interview with the Calgary Herald. "The distance from the threshold of the existing runway to the far threshold of the new runway is just over 6.5 kilometres. And that meant, right in the middle, we had to build a tower where the eye level is essentially 270 feet."
The Calgary Herald also noted that one of the most significant technological upgrades to the facility is a multilateration ground surveillance system. This system of 24 antennas will be placed in strategic locations around the airport. The antennas listen for signals from transponders installed on aircraft as well as ground vehicles out on the runway area. Using advanced computer processing systems, the air traffic controllers are able to use these signals to get a precise picture of a moving object's location and speed.
"The new control tower is an essential component of the Runway Development Project," said Garth Atkinson, president and CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority, in a release. "We are delighted to have NAV CANADA in the new facility and working with us to bring the new runway online."
The old tower was decommissioned at the end of June and has been handed back to the Calgary Airport Authority.
|Halifax Stanfield to Celebrate Mi'kmaq Culture with Live Art Event |
From left to right: Artist, Alan Syliboy, Peter Spurway, HIAA Vice President Corporate Communications and Airport Experience, and Lenore Zann, Truro-Bible Hill MLA. Photo credit: HFIAA.
The Halifax International Airport will honour local Nova Scotian culture and heritage when Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy begins work on a mural from August 9th to 11th. The Halifax airport will webcast the creative act in real time on its website. The provincial government contributed $30,000 to help make this project possible.
"We are going to do something very unique for Nova Scotia," said Mr. Syliboy. "The live art element of it and the potential for a big audience is exciting and something new."
"Nearly nine million passengers and visitors pass through the airport annually," Mr. Spurway said. "Alan's contribution to Nova Scotia is very deep and very wide, and we couldn't be happier."
The Millbrook First Nation artist, who works out of his Truro studio, has had over 40 exhibits. Mr. Syliboy's work is known for its vibrant colours, images inspired by Mi'kmaq petroglyphs and themes of family, searching, spirituality, struggle and strength.
His 12-panel mural for the 2010 Winter Olympics titled People of the Dawn was permanently installed in the Trout Lake Community Centre in Vancouver.
|Airport Expansion Planned in North Bay|
|Earlier this month, the City of North Bay announced its plans for a $2 million dollar expansion at the YYB Jack Garland Airport to help retain and attract new air carriers and business.|
However, the project depends on the approval of an $800,000 Northern Ontario Heritage Fund application which has been submitted by the city.
"We see the airport as a great vehicle for economic development," indicated North Bay City Councillor Dave Mendicino to the North Bay Nugget, who is also the chair of community services.
The Nugget also noted that the project will pull in financial support from various stakeholders. The city will contribute $1 million, including $500,000 that was previously set aside for the project last year, and another $500,000 approved for the 2014 budget. The airport board of directors has agreed to contribute $200,000 toward the project.
If approved, the project will add space to the airport terminal such as:
-increased counter space for additional carriers;
-a larger screening area for separate baggage handling and security checks;
-an expanded passenger holding area to accommodate an additional 90 people;
-expanded operations area;
-an additional airside gate for passenger loading; and unloading.
The expansion reportedly is expected to result in better and more efficient operations for existing flights and increasing business at the airport by bringing in more flights.
|Land Development Project Key to Long Term Planning for Gander Airport|
The Gander Beacon reports that the Gander International Airport Authority is set to embark on the most significant land development project that will impact its long term planning at the airport for years to come.
With demand for more domestic flights on the rise, the decision to make 125 acres of land available for commercial development was made earlier this year by the GIAA.
"Phase one is approximately 37 acres of land being developed, with the overall development taking in about 125 acres of land," said GIAA's Manager of Infrastructure Stephen Burbridge in an interview with the Gander Beacon. "This development is a major amount in terms of land and will generate a dependable source of revenue for years to come."
Mr. Burbridge also mentioned that the interest in the land will be leased and not sold by GIAA.
"There is approximately an 80-day construction period for phase one, so we should see work done by the fall with paving to follow in the spring," said Mr. Burbridge to the Gander Beacon.
While the development of land for commercial purposes is of importance to the financial books of GIAA, the airport authority reportedly is also looking at ways to improve customer service at the airport.
"This certainly shows a growth in our domestic use at the airport, as in our last master plan it wasn't even on the horizon, and in the last 18-24 months, it has become an urgent project," said Mr. Burbridge. "That's a good sign, and we're excited about that."
Overall, there will be approximately 80 new paid parking spaces to use at the airport.
|YXS Welcomes Prince George; Raises Money for Hope Air|
Members of the Prince George Airport Authority executive team sign the well wishes book for the Royal Family. Photo credit: Prince George Airport Authority.
As the city of Prince George prepares to host the Canada Winter Games in 2015, the city's 100th birthday, and mark the 25th anniversary of the University of Northern British Columbia, the city joined the world in welcoming the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis on July 22nd - the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!
"Prince George is an incredible city, full of life, and always proud. We celebrate our name and now share it proudly with His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge," wrote City of Prince George Mayor Shari Green.
Mayor Green also said that the city is preparing a gift basket to send the royal couple. The Prince George Airport Authority will be contributing to the gift basket and among the many items will be a book of well wishes that has been hosted at the airport.
The book was placed in the arrivals area and in the boarding lounge so that guests may send their wishes to the happy new family. Carriers Air Canada and WestJet joined in on the celebration, offering special deals on air fare.
Until August 2nd, 2013, travellers can save 15% on trips between Prince George and London, Heathrow.
WestJet held a promotion sale to celebrate the arrival of Prince George to the Royal Family with a Prince George promo code for travel between Prince George, B.C. and all Canadian and U.S. destinations. The sale was only available during the month of July.
Hope Air client Kalena Samaai and her mom Kathy accept a donation of $8,500 on the charity's behalf from John Gibson, the Prince George Airport Authority president and CEO, and Safety and Commercial Services Coordinator Michelle Kenny. Photo credit: Prince George Airport Authority.
For the third consecutive year, the Prince George Airport raised funds for Hope Air through its annual golf tournament. Since January of this year, Hope Air provided 488 free flights to residents of Prince George to access healthcare in Vancouver, Kelowna and Edmonton. The donation from Prince George Airport will guarantee 35 flights to residents in the Prince George region who must travel to healthcare.
"The Prince George to Vancouver route is the second busiest in all of Canada which means there are lots of families in our community needing our help. We are thrilled we were able to raise enough money to get dozens of people to and from their appointments. A huge thank you to those who donated and played in our tournament," said President and CEO of the Prince George Airport Authority John Gibson.
Hope Air is a nation-wide charity that arranges free flights to get low-income Canadians to specialized healthcare that does not exist in their local community. Hope Air serves people of all ages, with all illnesses, from all across Canada.
"This is the third year that Prince George airport has chosen to support Hope Air through its golf tournament, and we would like to thank all the participants for their generosity, and the organizing committee for hosting such a successful event. This donation will help more people access healthcare that is not available locally," said Anna du Bois, donor relations officer with Hope Air.
|WAA Named Winnipeg Tourism's Business of the Year Award|
The Winnipeg Airports Authority received the Winnipeg Tourism Award of Distinction as the Winnipeg Tourism Business of the Year.
Scott Marohn, director of air service and product development with the Winnipeg Airports Authority, accepts the Winnipeg Tourism Business of the Year award from City of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz. Photo credit: WAA.
"Our vision at Winnipeg Airports Authority is to lead transportation innovation and growth," said Winnipeg Airports Authority President and CEO Barry Rempel. "Serving our community by providing excellent facilities and services is what drives our team and receiving this award is reflective of our intent to contribute to the best possible visitor experience and enhance the city of Winnipeg's economic growth."
Presented by Tourism Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Tourism Business of the Year Award acknowledges a tourism business, facility, event or attraction that provided exceptional visitor experiences that resulted in high levels of customer satisfaction through product development and/or services.
|YMM Welcomes New Vice President Corporate Services|
Having worked in a number of different industries, including nine years in aviation, Ms. Kowalski has been involved in growing, diversifying businesses and expanding international operations. Most recently, she was the director of financial services at Royal Roads University in Victoria, where she was responsible for all aspects of financial operations including risk management.
The Fort McMurray Airport Authority announced that Marlene Kowalski joined the organization as vice president of corporate services and chief financial officer effective August 2013. Ms. Kowalski brings with her extensive senior management experience working in dynamic, growth organizations both in the private and public sector.
"This is such an exciting time, with the new $250 million dollar facility slated to be operational in 2014. I am very much looking forward to working with the Airport Authority team and realizing the vision of becoming Canada's Premier Regional Airport," said Ms. Kowalski.
|Industry News Quick Links|
|Universities, tourism sector worry as foreign visa officers walk off job - Calgary Herald (July 29, 2013)|
Mexico's foreign minister says his government seeks a closer, "more strategic" relationship with Canada - Globe and Mail (July 26, 2013)
Northern Ont. airports 'leaking' passengers - CBC News (July 24, 2013)
WestJet adds routes - Winnipeg Free Press (July 24, 2013)
St. John's airport workers accept offer, end marathon strike - CBC News (July 23, 2013)
Cross-country flight tour lands in Charlottetown - The Guardian (July 21, 2013)
China eastern airlines raises Vancouver-Shanghai flight frequency - The Vancouver Sun - (July 20, 2013)
Yellowknife air traffic getting lift - Northern News Services (July 17, 2013)
Transport Canada to assess runway safety - CTV News (July 8, 2013)
Cadets to glide the skies - Comox Valley Record (July 8, 2013)
Air Canada Rouge set for take off, focusing on details - Toronto Star (July 1, 2013)