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The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) is asking Transport Minister Marc 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,” said ATAC in a statement. “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 per cent 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,” said ATAC.
“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.”