For Immediate Release
February 5, 2021
Air Canada Testifies It May Cut Flights If YQR Tower Lost
On Thursday, in testimony before the House of Commons Transportation Committee, David Rheault. Managing Director, Government & Community Relations for Air Canada stated that the loss of an air traffic control tower would “obviously” affect the airline’s decisions about whether to send flights to an airport.
Rheault was responding to a question by Michael Kram, MP for Regina—Wascana, who is a member of the committee.
“In regard to Nav Canada potentially laying off air traffic controllers and shutting down air traffic control towers, including the one at the Regina International Airport, when an airport loses its air traffic control tower, does it cause your airline to re-evaluate the number and frequency of flights coming into and out of the city?” Kram asked.
“For operations, if there’s no control tower, the operations become more complex so operations will go towards other airports, so it entails problems for our carriers… The costs increase for everyone, difficult decisions have to be made that might jeopardize infrastructure in the long term. This is why measures have to be put in place to preserve our infrastructure,” Rheault responded.
Following the hearings, Kram reiterated that the loss of the air traffic control tower could have a devastating effect on the quality of life for the people of Regina.
“It’s bad enough that, after the pandemic, families yearning for a vacation may have to drive to another city to catch a flight. But the effects on our city of diminished flight capacity go much further. With few flights, our ability to host international conferences and sporting events will be diminished. Our ability to stage international trade shows, like Agribition and Canada’s Farm Progress will be diminished. Our ability to attract businesses and high-skilled workers will be diminished. Our whole status as a city will be dimmed.”
Kram also highlighted Rheault’s remarks about the need for measures to preserve our air infrastructure.
“Ultimately, this lands at the feet of the Trudeau government. Nearly every other developed country in the world has provided support to preserve its air infrastructure through the pandemic. The Liberal government has done next to nothing. As with so many aspects of the pandemic, they are blundering along without a plan, hoping that the problem will magically fix itself. Our air transportation system is on the brink of collapse and all that the Liberals have provided is rhetoric and empty promises,” Kram said.
The full video of Michael Kram’s questions to David Rheault can be viewed at https://youtu.be/MuJek89rIJU
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For more information, contact:
Constituency Assistant for MP Michael Kram, Regina-Wascana