Month: November 2019

Airbus celebrates the 100th A220 aircraft produced

Airbus Press Release

Airbus has celebrated the 100th A220 aircraft produced for a customer during a ceremony at the aircraft programme’s headquarters in Mirabel, Canada. The aircraft, an A220-300, destined for Riga, Latvia-based airBaltic, features a brand new and comfortable cabin layout with 149 seats plus a modernised livery.

The A220 Family is assembled at Airbus’ main Final Assembly Line in Mirabel and more recently, also at the programme’s second assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The world’s first A220 (formerly called the C Series) was delivered in June 2016 to A220-100 launch operator SWISS.

airBaltic became the A220-300 launch operator when the Latvian airline received delivery of the first ever A220-300 three years ago, on 28 November, 2016. airBaltic has since then re-ordered A220-300 aircraft twice – bringing its firm order to 50 aircraft to become the current biggest European A220 customer. The airline now operates a fleet of 20 A220-300 aircraft.

In an extremely competitive market, the aircraft’s unequalled fuel efficiency and excellent performance has been instrumental to airBaltic which has an all-A220 fleet as the backbone of its new business plan. airBaltic is operating its A220 fleet to various European and Russian destinations as well as to the Middle East. It currently operates the longest flight on an A220 – a 6.5-hour flight from Riga to Abu Dhabi.

Initially designed and delivered as the Bombardier C Series, the A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and widebody passenger comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, along with significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint. The A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft.

Close to 100 A220s are in operation with six operators on four continents. At the end of October 2019, the aircraft had received 530 firm orders from over 20 customers worldwide. 

@Airbus #A220 @airBaltic

Toronto Pearson commits additional $40 million in support of Eglinton Crosstown connection to airport

Provided by Greater Toronto Airports Authority/CNW

GTAA Logo (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority)
GTAA Logo (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority)
Toronto Pearson (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority)
Toronto Pearson (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority)

New whitepaper also released, documenting potential importance of Union Station West for multiple regional stakeholders

TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2019 /CNW/ – Today, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) announced its intention to partner with Metrolinx to advance the technical work necessary to extend the Eglinton Crosstown West from Renforth to the airport. This $40 million commitment represents another tangible step forward to bring important transit connections to Canada’s mega hub airport and build a regional transit network, anchored by a new regional transit centre (RTC) at Pearson – dubbed Union Station West.

This commitment follows the Ontario-Toronto transit agreement and Premier Ford’s announcement of four priority transit projects, including the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

The GTAA will pursue these additional works for the Renforth – Pearson portion of the line in partnership with Metrolinx, which will build on the GTAA-Metrolinx joint work program announced in April 2018. The GTAA is already investing $38 million in work currently underway, and this additional announcement will bring the total investment to a potential $78 million. The current GTAA-Metrolinx joint program continues work to improve rapid transit access to Pearson Airport. This includes exploring potential ground connections to the future Union Station West and surrounding Airport Employment Zone, a potential Kitchener GO rail corridor connection, and improved LRT and bus connections.

Also released today is a summary of discussions with stakeholders across the region regarding the importance of connectivity for regional airports, economic zones, and the last-mile within the Airport Employment Zone, and how Union Station West can support these connections. This whitepaper documents the value that the future Union Station West could bring to multiple communities across the region. The full report is available at torontopearson.com/transit.

Important findings include:

  • Municipal borders are meaningless to transit riders – workers, students, residents – who experience multiple unintegrated fares and uncoordinated transfers.
  • The region’s current “radial” transit system no longer supports connection between the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s economic and employment centres.
  • The goods movement sector is straining under intense road congestion, leading to increased consumer prices, lower profits and reduced productivity.
  • Efficient connections to Pearson are critical for all regional economic zones.
  • Coordinated ground connections to, from and between Southern Ontario airports would provide convenience and choice for travelers.
  • The 300,000+ employees in the AEZ need safe, efficient first- and last- mile solutions that reflect the 24/7 nature of the country’s 2nd largest employment zone.

“Significant improvements to our regional transit system are required for our region to be able to compete globally, and that is why we are making this financial investment to advance this work,” said Howard Eng, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.  “We will continue to push for improved transit that connects to Toronto Pearson and the Airport Employment Zone as well as the creation of Union Station West.”

“As part of our Plan to Build Ontario Together, our government is making the single largest capital investment in new subway builds in Canadian history,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “We welcome the GTAA’s multi-million-dollar investment to help connect the Eglinton Crosstown West Subway Extension to Toronto Pearson Airport. Today’s announcement is another clear example of how our government is strengthening partnerships to build more transit, faster—spurring economic growth and creating jobs throughout the region.”

CAE announces its plan to become carbon neutral in Summer 2020

Provided by CAE Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, Nov. 28, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – (NYSE: CAE) (TSX: CAE) – CAE today announced at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations (CORIM) that it will become carbon neutral by the summer of 2020. The company will achieve this goal by offsetting carbon emissions from the fuel used for all the live training flights of its academies, from energy consumption in its locations worldwide and from the air business travel of all its employees.

“I am happy to make the commitment that CAE will become carbon neutral by next summer,” said Marc Parent, President and Chief Executive Officer at CAE. “We want to do our share in the fight against climate change for the wellbeing of future generations. In addition to preventing hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 being emitted each year by training more than 135,000 pilots in simulators, we will offset our live training fuel emissions, business air travel and energy other than electricity by funding greenhouse gas reduction projects. We will also compensate for our electricity consumption by buying renewable energy certificates which support renewable electricity development.”

Carbon offsetting and renewable energy certificates are interim measures that CAE will take while new technologies and solutions are being developed to reduce emissions. CAE will work with the industry to progressively use electric aircraft for the live flight training in its academies. CAE will also continue to undertake other measures to reduce its overall emissions, for example, by continually investing to make its full-flight simulators more energy efficient, therefore allowing its customers worldwide to reduce their own footprint.

To learn more about CAE’s corporate sustainability roadmap and achievements, take at its FY19 Annual Activity and Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

CAE and its employees raise more than $1 million for Centraide of Greater Montreal (United Way)

Provided by CAE Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, Nov. 28, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – (NYSE: CAE) (TSX: CAE) — CAE announces today that it has raised more than one million dollars  $1,015,015) in its 2019 CAE-Centraide (United Way) fundraising campaign. This record amount was collected through employee donations and a corporate donation.

Participation and commitment of CAE employees and Unifor Local 522 were key in raising more than one million dollars for Centraide/United Way
Participation and commitment of CAE employees and Unifor Local 522 were key in raising more than one million dollars for Centraide/United Way

“CAE is an important employer in the Greater Montreal area and I am very proud that we have collected more than 1 million dollars to strengthen the community in which more than 3,500 of our employees live and work,” said Marc Parent, President and CEO of CAE. “This achievement is a testament to the exceptional commitment and generosity of CAE employees, who have always supported Centraide in the fight against poverty and isolation over the years. It demonstrates that strong companies and strong communities go hand in hand.”

CAE and Unifor Local 522 have led campaigns for Centraide for many years and have been commended by 10 Centraide Solidaires Awards, which recognize the excellence and outstanding results of their campaigns. Since 2000, CAE and its employees have donated $12.6 million to Centraide of Greater Montreal. Since 2000, CAE and its employees have donated $12.6 million to Centraide of Greater Montreal.

In addition to Centraide, CAE supports the communities in which it operates through several donations and sponsorships that mainly support causes in education, civil aviation, defence, security and healthcare. The company also encourages volunteering efforts through its CAEvolunteering program, which promotes team volunteering and donates to several causes supported by employees. CAE is also a diversity and inclusion advocate and has created a CAE Women in Flight sponsorship program to encourage more women to pursue a career in aviation.

You can learn more about CAE’s societal goals and achievements in its FY19 Annual Activity and Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

Software problem resolved after U.S. customs delays at Montreal airport

News provided by CTV News – link to full story and updates

Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca, Staff Writer, Published Thursday, November 28, 2019

Montreal's Trudeau International Airport
Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport is shown in this file photo. (CTV Montreal/Caroline Van Vlaardingen)

A software problem that caused delays at U.S. customs at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport Thursday morning has been resolved.

The software problem at U.S. Customs and Border Protection forced agents to conduct some of their operations by hand, which resulted in longer wait times for travellers, a spokesperson for the airport told CTVNews.ca.

Anne-Sophie Hamel said she was unaware of any passengers missing their flights because of the issue; however, she said some flights were delayed, on average, by 20 minutes.

While there were longer lines earlier in the morning, Hamel said all passengers were being attended to and operations were running “smoothly.”

“Things are running smoothly because we’re not in our peak moment of the day,” Anne-Sophie Hamel, director of public affairs, explained.

Just after 9:30 a.m. ET, the airport said the software issue had been resolved and the system was “back to normal.”

7 dead, including 3 children, in Kingston plane crash

News provided by Global News – link to VIDEO, full story and updates

BY ALEXANDRA MAZUR, GLOBAL NEWS – Posted November 28, 2019

WATCH VIDEOS: Cause of fatal Kingston, Ont., plane crash still unknown, reports of deteriorating weather

Ken Webster, an investigator with the Transportation Safety Board, provided an update on Nov. 28 regarding Wednesday evening’s plane crash in Kingston, Ont., which killed all seven people on the flight.

Kingston police have confirmed that seven people are dead, including three minors, after a small aircraft crashed in Kingston. The Transportation Safety Board says five of the people were American and two were Canadian, but they are not providing any names of those who died.

Police had originally reported on Thursday morning that two children had died as a result of the crash, but changed that number to three later on in the day.

Police were made aware of a missing aircraft around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, which prompted a search of a wooded area in Kingston’s west end.

On Thursday, the Transportation Safety Board says the plane “collided with terrain” about 2.8 nautical miles north of Kingston at approximately 5 p.m.

The downed plane was eventually located Wednesday evening in a wooded area north of Creekford Road and two kilometres west of Bayridge Drive.

From the description given by police, this is the rough area where the plane went down in Kingston on Thursday evening.
 From the description given by police, this is the rough area where the plane went down in Kingston on Thursday evening. Global News

Police originally would not release the number of dead, but on Thursday a police source confirmed that the plane was carrying seven people, all of whom died.

Strong winds and heavy rain were reported at the time the plane went down, but it is not clear if weather was a factor in the crash. Environment Canada was calling for wind gusts up to 90 km/h on Wednesday evening.

In a press conference held near the crash site on Thursday evening, the transportation board’s lead investigator on the crash, Ken Webster, said that during the flight, there was some communication from the plane en route to Kingston that weather was deteriorating, but Webster says it’s unclear if the weather was the cause of the accident.

Our reporter @KrauseKraig visited a man in Kingston who owns a similar plane to the one that crashed last night in the city. John Andrew said the plane seats 6, but has room for a 7th child seat.

The plane, which the Transportation Safety Board says was a Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six registered in the United States, was travelling from Buttonville Airport on its way to Kingston. Webster said that the plane seats six, although its not known what the seating arrangements were during the flight.

Unclear whether passengers were wearing seat belts in fatal Kingston, Ont., plane crash

Webster says that the plane’s final destination was Quebec City, but there was communications with the Kingston airport that indicated the plane was trying to land in Kingston, although it’s unclear if this was an emergency landing or not.

It is also currently unclear if the plane began its journey in another location, but Webster says that he believes the flight was a private one, and not a commercial flight.

Webster said the angle of impact was very steep, but there was no fire on impact. Webster said all parts of the airplane were located at the crash site, but the plane was completely destroyed.

He added this type of plane does not have a “black box,” which are required for larger planes, but there are other electronic devices that might have been able to record events before the crash.

Capt. Graeme Scott, public affairs officer with 8 Wing Trenton, says their Joint Rescue Coordination Centre was notified that an aircraft’s emergency beacon was activated around 6 p.m.

Scott says the Air Force deployed its 424 transport and rescue squadron in a Griffon helicopter, which arrived at the scene in Kingston just after 7 p.m.

Trained search and rescue technicians dropped down from the helicopter into the wooded area north of Creekford Road. Scott says they were then able to confirm around 8 p.m. they had found the plane that disappeared just hours before.

The coroner’s office and investigators with the Transportation Safety Board were brought in to assess the crash site, and the investigation is still ongoing.

Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Chris Krepski said the agency is working with its U.S. counterpart, the National Transportation Safety Board, adding that there is “American interest” in the crash.

The investigation will involve inspecting electronic instruments and devices that were in the plane, examining the aircraft’s engine, conducting interviews with those involved and other investigative techniques, the board says.

According to a safety board news release, the next steps of the investigation will analyze the sequence of events that led to the crash by gathering information from devices found in the aircraft.

Investigators will also be looking to see if weather conditions at the time contributed to the crash, as well as looking at previous incidents involving similar aircraft to determine any mitigating factors.

Webster said the Transportation Safety Board will be on scene in Kingston for several days as part of their investigation.

More info to come…

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Billy Bishop Airport to Convert Marilyn Bell I Airport Ferry to Electric-Power

Provided by PortsToronto/CNW

First of Its Kind in Canada, Electric-Powered Ferry Will Significantly Reduce Airport GHG Emissions and Noise Impacts

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2019 /CNW/ – PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, is proud to announce that the airport’s Marilyn Bell I passenger/vehicle ferry will be converted to electric-power. This innovative retrofit represents a unique technological advancement in the airport’s fleet as the vessel will be the first 100 per cent electric lithium-ion powered ferry in service in Canada. PortsToronto anticipates that the ferry’s retrofit will be complete by the end of 2020.

PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, announced that the airport’s Marilyn Bell I ferry will be converted to electric-power, eliminating all related GHG emissions and significantly reducing noise impacts. (CNW Group/PortsToronto)
PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, announced that the airport’s Marilyn Bell I ferry will be converted to electric-power, eliminating all related GHG emissions and significantly reducing noise impacts. (CNW Group/PortsToronto)

The vessel’s propulsion system will be entirely powered by battery and fueled by 100 per cent Bullfrog Power® renewable electricity, enabling the electric-ferry to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the airport’s ferry operation. In addition to operating more efficiently and eliminating related air emissions, the retrofitted vessel will build on the airport’s award-winning Noise Management Program, as it will operate far more quietly, dramatically reducing related noise in the surrounding community.

As part of PortsToronto’s sustainability program, a phased approach to greening the airport’s ferry operations began in 2018 when the Marilyn Bell I was converted from diesel to bio-fuel, which resulted in the reduction of approximately 20 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions last year. The electric-powered ferry is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with ferry operations by 530 tonnes, dramatically reducing the airport’s carbon footprint and setting the organization on a clear path toward achieving PortsToronto’s overall emissions target.

“The retrofitting of the Marilyn Bell I to electric power clearly demonstrates how we can build a clean and efficient transportation system, create good jobs and protect the environment,” said the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “The Government of Canada commends PortsToronto for this initiative that will benefit Toronto communities and reduce our carbon footprint.”

“Converting the Billy Bishop Airport ferry to electric power is a clear indication of how serious we are in our commitment to the environment and maintaining balanced operations with the waterfront community in which we operate,” said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. “We are proud to invest in leading-edge, sustainable transportation infrastructure that will reduce PortsToronto’s overall emissions, which is a significant step toward our organization’s environmental objectives and in support of the Canadian Government’s 2030 emission reduction target.”

In compliance with PortsToronto’s Sustainable Procurement Policy, three Canadian companies that share PortsToronto’s vision for sustainable operations have been selected to collaborate on completing the ferry retrofit. As developers of the winning concept and proposal, St. Catharines-based leaders in marine electrical engineering Canal Marine & Industrial Inc. (CANAL) are the prime designers for this project. On board as the project naval architect is Concept Naval, Quebec-based naval architects and marine engineers, recognized for their innovative and customized solutions in Canada’s shipbuilding industry. PortsToronto has also engaged Nova Scotia-based E.Y.E marine consultants to assist with the implementation of the project.

“CANAL is proud to be delivering the first completely zero-emission Ro-Pax ferry in Canada,” said Shawn Balding, CANAL Commercial Director. “This is an important step in the evolution of the marine industry made possible by maturing advancements in energy storage and power and propulsion system design.”

The airport’s ferry operation not only transports passengers, airport staff and essential supplies to and from Billy Bishop Airport, but serves as a vital link for City of Toronto service vehicles to gain access to the Toronto Islands. The conversion of the airport ferry to electric-power is one of Billy Bishop Airport’s key capital projects and will cost approximately $2.9 million. This cost will be paid in full by PortsToronto through the Airport Improvement Fee. PortsToronto is a federal business enterprise that is financially self-sufficient and does not receive funding from any level of government.

The Marilyn Bell I is named for the Canadian icon who was the first person to cross Lake Ontario, and later the English Channel and Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Sunwing Airlines President Mark Williams receives ATAC Lifetime Honoree Award

Sunwing Airlines Press Release

Toronto, ON – November 28, 2019

Last week, Sunwing Airlines President, Mark Williams, received the ATAC Lifetime Honoree Award at the annual Canadian Aviation Conference and Tradeshow in Montreal. The prestigious award is bestowed by the Board of Directors of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) upon individuals who have made significant contributions and improvements to the Canadian air transportation industry and have been a part of the sector for a minimum of 25 years.

Sunwing Airlines

With a career in the global aviation industry spanning over 30 years, Mark Williams joined Sunwing in 2004 and was instrumental in the subsequent launch of Sunwing Airlines the year after. Since then, he has been a fundamental driver in the carrier’s exponential growth. From operating its first flight in November 2005 from Toronto to Cuba, the airline now operates out of 33 airports across Canada offering flights to 45 vacation destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Florida.

Sunwing Airlines has strong presence in regional airports giving Canadians all across the nation access to affordable, convenient tropical vacations. The airline is also proud to operate one of Canada’s youngest fleets comprised of Boeing 737 800 aircraft.

John McKenna, ATAC President and CEO, commended Mark Williams on his achievements, “Mark has been a strong leader on the ATAC Board of Directors for over ten years. His valuable contributions to the Board’s strategic decisions are founded, intelligent and inspiring. His personality and no-nonsense inclusive approach to issues are key to developing beneficial industry-wide consensus. The Board was happy to bestow this honor to Mark”.

All Sunwing vacation packages include return flights on Sunwing Airlines where passengers can enjoy award-winning inflight service, complimentary non-alcoholic beverage service and a buy on board selection of snacks and light meals including the World Famous Original Smoked Meat from iconic Montreal-based Schwartz’s Deli along with dishes inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. Passengers also benefit from a generous complimentary 23kg checked luggage allowance. For additional perks, including additional baggage allowance and legroom, customers can upgrade to Elite Plus from just $50 per sector.

Snowbirds to return to Moose Jaw after last month’s jet crash in Atlanta

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

Pilot ejected from plane prior to Atlanta Air Show and was unhurt

CBC News · Posted: Nov 27, 2019

The Snowbirds jets have been sitting at Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Ga., since last month when a Snowbirds pilot ejected from his plane, which crashed in a field before an air show. No one was injured. (Johnny Milano/Reuters)

The Snowbirds are returning this week to 15 Wing Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan after one of the jets crashed before an air show in Atlanta last month.

Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier ejected from his jet just before the Atlanta Air Show was about to get underway on Oct. 13. His plane crashed in an unpopulated area and no one was injured. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

“We need to let the investigators continue to work before we resume full operations,” Lt.-Col. Mike French, commanding officer of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, said in a statement Wednesday.

The other Snowbirds aircraft were grounded and had been sitting at Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Ga., since the incident.

Ten CT-114 Tutor jets flown by the Snowbirds will begin their journey north beginning this week after the Royal Canadian Air Force determined they can be safely flown back to Canada.

The Snowbirds aircraft will have to undergo another risk assessment after they return to Saskatchewan. If it’s determined the jets are safe, they’ll return to the sky in their full capacity.

Saint John Airport union inching closer to strike action

News provided by Global News – link to VIDEO, full story and updates

BY ANDREW CROMWELL GLOBAL NEWS – Posted November 27, 2019

WATCH: The union representing about twenty five unionized workers at the Saint John Airport says it could be in a position to give strike notice within weeks. As Andrew Cromwell reports, at the same time the airport says talks have been productive.

With the holiday travel season fast approaching, the clock is ticking for the Saint John Airport Authority and the union representing about 25 workers to ink a deal.

There seems to be differing opinions on the state of negotiations between the two sides. The workers are responsible for a variety of different duties including runway maintenance, firefighting, mechanical and administrative staff.

The union and airport have been bargaining since February with pensions and wages the two main issues. Union reps say they’re looking for a defined benefit pension plan, but the airport authority wants to be able to walk away from it at any time, which the union feels would be problematic.

“Obviously we’re looking for income security into retirement and we don’t want to jeopardize that,” said Chris Bussey, Atlantic region vice-president of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees.

“We want something that’s going to be stable and that’s going to be good for our members and their families.”

It appears at least from the union’s standpoint that a strike is more in the picture. Not all workers are allowed to walk off the job and talks are ongoing regarding essential staff.

Bussey feels if job action were to take place the airport would be impacted in some way.

“There would be some some services that would continue on but it wouldn’t be everything,” Bussey explained. “Potentially when we strike at airports, we do see delays.”

There is a strikingly different tone coming from the Saint John Airport itself. President and CEO Derrick Stanford said in a statement that it’s “premature” to discuss contingency plans right now. He said “from our perspective, we consider negotiations to be productive and feel that we’re moving forward.”

The union says it too wants a deal and they’re close, but appears ready to take the next step.

“As soon as the essential service agreement is in place I would view that we would give our 72 hours notice and we would hit the picket line,” said Bussey.

Bussey says he expects that could happen within a matter of weeks.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.