Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Announces Launch of Safe Travels Program

Safe Travels Program is an operational program and awareness campaign designed to help passengers, staff and partners travel through Billy Bishop Airport safely and with confidence.

TORONTO, Aug. 31, 2020 /CNW/ – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) today announced the launch of its Safe Travels Program, a comprehensive initiative developed in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic that includes operational measures and safety protocols that have been implemented to ensure a safe and healthy environment for passengers, staff and partners at Billy Bishop Airport.

Billy Bishop Airport has responded to the emergence of COVID-19 with a comprehensive health and safety program that is aligned with expert guidance and new industry best practices. Under the guidance of provincial and federal agencies such as Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Billy Bishop Airport has worked closely with its partners to implement a number of enhancements, procedures and new infrastructure to provide a safe and healthy environment for passengers, staff and partners.

Porter Airlines and Air Canada temporarily suspended commercial airline service from Billy Bishop Airport in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Safe Travels Program has now been launched and will be in place when the airlines resume operations later this fall.

“The extraordinary impact of this crisis has required an equally extraordinary response on the part of the aviation industry to ensure that passengers feel confident travelling again. The Safe Travels Program encapsulates our commitment to delivering a safe experience for our passengers as well as those who work in the airport,” said Gene Cabral, Executive Vice-President, PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Airport. “Billy Bishop Airport is unique in many ways: its island location, its proximity to Toronto’s downtown core, its unmatched, scenic approach and award-winning passenger experience. It is also unique in that this crisis and the resulting temporary suspension of commercial airline service at Billy Bishop Airport has afforded our team the time to step back, observe and get this right. We look forward to welcoming our passengers back to an enhanced version of the Billy Bishop Airport experience they already know and love.”

While Billy Bishop Airport will continue to incorporate new procedures and innovations to ensure the airport can offer a safe and healthy travel environment, the measures currently in place include:

  • Requiring that face covering/masks be worn by all airport travellers and staff at the airport;
  • Requesting that only travellers with boarding passes and airport staff enter YTZ, with exceptions made for those requiring special assistance;
  • Designated ambassadors at key locations throughout the airport to facilitate passenger flow, communicate occupancy limits, and answer questions;
  • Occupancy limits implemented in close-proximity spaces such as elevators;
  • Implementing clear physical distancing and directional signage throughout the traveller journey to provide information and guidance;
  • Installation of Plexiglas and traffic-flow protocols at face-to-face interaction points;
  • Touchless processing of passenger belongings and documentation to the greatest degree possible;
  • All passenger touch points including counters and screening machines sanitized often;
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures across all high-touch areas and in public spaces, including Foggers and Electrostatic Sprayers equipped with an all-natural, environmentally safe product that eliminates 99.99% of viruses; and,
  • Providing additional hand sanitization stations throughout the airport.

The Safe Travels Program will complement programs in place with resident airlines Porter Airlines and Air Canada and is inclusive of all airport partners including Nieuport Aviation (terminal owners/operators); Stolport (parking) as well as government agencies including CATSA (screening and security) and CBSA (border protection).

Flying through YTZ soon? Click here to chart your path to safe travels.

No Max 8 aircraft in Canadian skies until all safety concerns addressed: Garneau

From Travelweek Group – link to story

No Max 8 aircraft in Canadian skies until all safety concerns addressed...

Monday, August 31, 2020 ~ Posted by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Boeing’s Max 8 aircraft won’t be allowed to fly in Canadian skies until officials believe all safety concerns have been addressed.

He said in a statement Friday that Transport Canada will work with its American, European and Brazilian counterparts before giving the aircraft a stamp of approval.

Transport Canada officials took part in test flights of the 737 Max 8 aircraft in recent days and are analyzing the results before giving the thumbs-up to proposed changes to the aircraft.

Now, the plane will be further tested in Vancouver starting Sept. 7 under an agreement between Boeing, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe’s aviation safety regulator.

With a new round of test flights about to start, Garneau said he still expects the FAA and the company to prove the aircraft is safe.

Canada closed its skies to the Boeing aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed in March 2019, killing all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

The crash, six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, was eerily similar to one five months earlier when a Lion Air flight went down after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Transport Canada will not lift the flight restrictions on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 until the department is fully satisfied that all safety concerns have been addressed by the manufacturer and the FAA, and that enhanced flight crew procedures and training are in place,” Garneau said.

From Sunday to Tuesday this week, a Transport Canada test crew were flown daily between Seattle and Vancouver to evaluate the engineering simulator at the Boeing facility. Test flights over American airspace then took place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Transport Canada said that mitigation measures were put in place to prevent the crew from contracting the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19.

Officials are analyzing the results and expect to complete their review this fall, at which time they’ll work with international counterparts to set minimum training requirements for the Max 8 to return to service.

The loss of the plane last year forced Air Canada and WestJet to cancel some routes and lease less fuel-efficient aircraft. Boeing also said it was putting a halt on production.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency said Thursday that Boeing still has some final issues to deal with on the aircraft, but the plane was ready for flight tests needed before the European body could approve the aircraft’s new design.

It said the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into testing plans because of travel restrictions between the United States and Europe, which were resolved by holding test flights in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020.

Passengers should expect changes at Windsor International Airport when flights resume

From CBC News – link to story

Two flights a day out of Windsor to Toronto starting September 8th

CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020

Air Canada will be resuming commercial flights out of Windsor in September. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

After a five month hiatus because of COVID-19, Windsor International Airport will resume commercial flights to Toronto next month.

Air Canada will offer two flights a day to Toronto International Pearson Airport starting September 8, with 12pm and 4pm departure times. 

“We’re excited to have them back obviously, and have air service again to the Windsor area,” said Mark Galvin, the airport’s CEO. 

All commercial flights in and out of Windsor were put on hold at the beginning of April when all airlines suspended their flights because of the pandemic.

Passengers can expect a number of differences at the YQG terminal, Galvin explained, like mandatory masks, social distancing marks on the floor and touch-less technology. 

Changes at the terminal

The airport will also have two relaxation zones throughout the terminal where travellers will be able to physically distance and remove their masks if they need to. 

Windsor International Airport CEO Mark Galvin says he’s excited to have Air Canada return to Windsor. (CBC)

“We find that’s a good best practice to have,” Galvin explained.

Further to that, the airport is encouraging a “kiss-and-ride” concept for drop-offs, recommending that only ticketed passengers enter the building to limit the number of people inside. 

“That’s really our job is to make the terminal as safe an environment as we possibly can and layer those mitigation efforts on top of one another,” Galvin said. 

Airlines taking it ‘one day’ at a time

Earlier this summer, it was announced that Porter Airlines was also scheduled to resume commercial flights out of Windsor in July, but plans were changed. 

“They’re making a decision based on what they see in terms of demand,” Galvin said, adding that he’s in regular communication with all airline partners about when they might return to Windsor. 

“I think they’re sort of taking it one day, one week at a time.”

The re-opening of the terminal is allowing the airport to call some staff members back to work, following lay-offs earlier this year. The airport hopes to bring more staff back in the near future once flights ramp up. 

Major losses

The last five months have taken a significant financial toll on the airport, with losses in the hundreds of thousands, according to Galvin. 

The Windsor International Airport terminal will have a number of safety precautions in place when it opens back up.

“We know that this recovery is going to take some time, but certainly this is the first step in that, welcoming back Air Canada with open arms and providing that traveler experience,” he said. 

“Hopefully as we move forward, more and more partners come back and more flights come back and we’ll kind of ramp up as we do.”

Even though it’s been a difficult five months, Galvin said he’s feeling optimistic and hopeful for the future. 

“Traveling is living, and traveling safely is living safely, and that’s kind of … what we’re looking at.”

Statement on Transport Canada’s validation tests of updated Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

August 28, 2020            Ottawa, Ontario             Transport Canada

“The Government of Canada remains committed to keeping Canadians, the travelling public, and the transportation system safe and secure.

“Transport Canada continues to work extensively with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and civil aviation authorities in Europe and Brazil throughout the validation process of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

“Transport Canada will not lift the flight restrictions on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 until the department is fully satisfied that all safety concerns have been addressed by the manufacturer and the FAA, and that enhanced flight crew procedures and training are in place.”

Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau

Background information

Transport Canada has successfully completed a series of flight test activities of the updated aircraft as part of the validation process. From August 23 to 25, 2020, Transport Canada’s flight test crew were flown to Seattle, Washington, to conduct evaluations on the engineering simulator at the Boeing facility and then at the end of the each test day, were flown back to Vancouver.

The flight test evaluations took place on August 26 and 27 in U.S. airspace using the Boeing test aircraft.

Mitigation measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic were established for the validation activities, including the flight tests, to ensure the health and safety of Transport Canada employees.

Canada is the first international regulator to complete validation testing activities of the aircraft. Transport Canada is now analyzing the results of these tests. Transport Canada will determine, through its own independent review, whether to validate the proposed changes.

This fall, once our analysis is completed, Transport Canada will participate in a Joint Operational Evaluation Board, which is made up of representatives from global certification authorities. The results of the Board will be used to establish the minimum training requirements for the return to service of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Air Canada Vacations Sun Destination Packages to Include COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Administered by Allianz Global Assistance

Air Canada Vacations Logo (CNW Group/Air Canada Vacations)
Allianz Global Assistance Logo (CNW Group/Air Canada Vacations)

MONTREAL, Aug. 31, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada Vacations announced today that a COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, will be offered at no additional cost to customers booking with Air Canada Vacations. The plan is designed to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses if COVID-19 is contracted while travelling.

Aimed at providing travellers with greater confidence to book their next dream vacation, this plan will be included in all flight and hotel Air Canada Vacations packages to select destinations in Mexico and in the Caribbean at no extra cost, as Air Canada Vacations will cover the cost of the coverage. A full list of applicable destinations is available here.

“We’re pleased to be the first Canadian tour operator to ensure coverage is in place for emergency medical and quarantine expenses relating to COVID-19 through Allianz Global Assistance and the brokerage firm TW Insurance Services as a part of our vacation packages. Our strategy, in conjunction with Air Canada CleanCare+, has been to be at the forefront of travel safety measures, including through the implementation of our Health and Safety Standards in our Sun destinations. We look forward to continuing to work with Allianz Global Assistance to turn our customers’ travel dreams into reality,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director at Air Canada Vacations.

“As Canadians look forward to travelling again, safety while abroad is top of mind for travellers more than ever before,” said Chris Van Kooten, Chief Executive Officer at Allianz Global Assistance. “Air Canada Vacations’ customers can once again travel with confidence and enjoy their holiday to the fullest with peace of mind about COVID-19 related medical emergencies.”

All eligible customers who book an Air Canada Vacations package on or after August 31, 2020 for travel between September 4, 2020 to April 30, 2021 to applicable destinations will be covered under the COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan. 

Policy terms and conditions can be found here: https://vacations.aircanada.com/en/travel-info/allianz-covid-19-coverage-assistance-plan.

Administered by Allianz Global Assistance, the COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of the Co-operators group of companies.

For more details on the COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan, please visit aircanadavacations.com.

Abbotsford company lands part of $374 million aerospace contract for U.S. military

From Abbotsford News – link to story – thanks P.N.

TYLER OLSEN ~ Aug. 28, 2020

Cascade Aerospace and Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group to maintain KC-130 transport aircraft

An Abbotsford aerospace company has landed a massive contract to repair and maintain aircraft for the U.S. marines.

The U.S. military has awarded a contract worth as much as $374 million to Cascade Aerospace and Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group. Cascade’s headquarters are at Abbotsford International Airport, while the UK-based Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group – which also has a facility in Abbotsford – provides support to the marines around the world.

Each company is responsible for half of the “multi-award contract.” Cascade employs more than 500 people.

The companies are tasked with maintaining the military’s KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft for at least the next five years, according to a press release sent out Thursday.

“Teaming up with Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group and Cascade Aerospace, two globally recognized leaders on C-130 maintenance, will help us accomplish our mission and accelerate naval aviation readiness with world-class execution,” Commanding Officer Randy J. Berti said in a news release.

The contract was hailed in a press release by three Fraser Valley members of Parliament, with Conservative MPs Ed Fast, Brad Vis and Tako van Popta saying the awarding of the contract is good news for the region’s economy.

Boeing’s 737 Max 8 not allowed to fly in Canada until all issues resolved, Garneau says

From Global News – link to story and VIDEO

By Staff The Canadian Press~ Posted August 28, 2020

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Boeing’s Max 8 aircraft won’t be allowed to fly in Canadian skies until officials believe all safety concerns have been addressed.

He said in a statement Friday that Transport Canada will work with its American, European and Brazilian counterparts before giving the aircraft a stamp of approval.

Transport Canada officials took part in test flights of the 737 Max 8 aircraft in recent days and are analyzing the results before giving the thumbs-up to proposed changes to the aircraft.

Now, the plane will be further tested in Vancouver starting Sept. 7 under an agreement between Boeing, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe’s aviation safety regulator.

With a new round of test flights about to start, Garneau said he still expects the FAA and the company to prove the aircraft is safe.

Canada closed its skies to the Boeing aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed in March 2019, killing all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.FAA warns thousands of Boeing 737 planes at risk of engine failure

The crash, six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, was eerily similar to one five months earlier when a Lion Air flight went down after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Transport Canada will not lift the flight restrictions on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 until the department is fully satisfied that all safety concerns have been addressed by the manufacturer and the FAA, and that enhanced flight crew procedures and training are in place,” Garneau said.

From Sunday to Tuesday this week, a Transport Canada test crew were flown daily between Seattle and Vancouver to evaluate the engineering simulator at the Boeing facility. Test flights over American airspace then took place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Transport Canada said that mitigation measures were put in place to prevent the crew from contracting the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19.How can Boeing survive the coronavirus pandemic?

Officials are analyzing the results and expect to complete their review this fall, at which time they’ll work with international counterparts to set minimum training requirements for the Max 8 to return to service.

The loss of the plane last year forced Air Canada and WestJet to cancel some routes and lease less fuel-efficient aircraft. Boeing also said it was putting a halt on production.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency said Thursday that Boeing still has some final issues to deal with on the aircraft, but the plane was ready for flight tests needed before the European body could approve the aircraft’s new design.

It said the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into testing plans because of travel restrictions between the United States and Europe, which were resolved by holding test flights in Vancouver.© 2020 The Canadian Press

WestJet, Vancouver airport launch pilot project to test passengers for COVID-19

From YVR Blog

A New Pilot Taking Flight

WestJet and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) are embarking on a new pilot project that will incorporate COVID-19 testing for WestJet guests on select departing flights out of YVR. The pilot, which we aim to launch this fall, will incorporate current best practices on testing, pulling together industry players and experts to lead in the research and development of solutions that support aviation safety and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Why are we doing this? Our industry has always been heavily focused on safety and for us this pilot is a natural evolution of our historical commitment. It supports our efforts to uphold top safety standards, while instilling confidence for those who need to travel. It’s also about building collective knowledge and literacy, which will help inform longer-term solutions around communicable diseases.

We are working with government and health authorities to ensure the data we collect is useful for their purposes and we will be partnering with academia to marry our expertise in passenger movements to science. Our team will closely scrutinize the trial results to learn how we can further improve travel processes and evolve our safety measures as required.

We understand that COVID-19 testing is a rapidly evolving field with many unknowns. But we also know that we must continue to search for solutions—and that means being proactive, trialing processes, seeing what works and what needs improvement—all in an effort to help restart the global aviation industry in a safe manner and do our part to support economic recovery.

We know air travel will take considerable time to recover to pre-pandemic levels and that COVID-19 will likely have a long-lasting impact on health screening in the travel journey. And this is why we have a valuable role to play: because airlines and airports are about much more than just travel—we are major economic drivers, creating jobs, connecting markets, economies and ensuring that essential goods and services can be where they need to be.

We will make sure to update you in the days and weeks ahead as we further develop this pilot and plan for its launch. In the meantime, we will continue to do our best to serve you and support our many partners and our employees in the global fight against COVID-19.

Thank you, on behalf of WestJet and YVR, for your continued patience and support during this unprecedented time. Be safe.

Tamara Vrooman
President & CEO
Vancouver Airport Authority

Ed Sims
President and CEO
WestJet

Boeing Woes Mount With Manufacturing Defect Found in Dreamliners

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

Anurag Kotoky, Bloomberg News ~ 27/28 August 2020

(Bloomberg) — Boeing Co. found two “distinct manufacturing issues” in the fuselage of 787 Dreamliner jets and has told airlines operating eight affected planes to remove them from service so they can be repaired.

The issues were found in the join of fuselage sections toward the rear of the aircraft, and as a result, the jets don’t meet Boeing’s design standards, the company said in a statement Friday. Boeing said it has notified the Federal Aviation Administration and is conducting a review into the cause of the problem.

“We determined that eight airplanes in the delivered fleet are affected by both issues and therefore must be inspected and repaired prior to continued operation,” Boeing said. “We immediately contacted the airlines that operate the eight affected airplanes to notify them of the situation, and the airplanes have been temporarily removed from service until they can be repaired.”

One of the affected aircraft is operated by Singapore Airlines Ltd. The jet is not in service and the carrier will work closely with Boeing on a solution, it said in a statement Friday.

The Dreamliner, Boeing’s marquee wide-body jet, experienced a series of teething problems after its 2011 debut, including a three-month global grounding in 2013 after battery meltdowns on two planes. Some others were grounded in 2018 after faulty Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc engine blades deteriorated faster than expected. Boeing’s 737 Max hasn’t flown since March 2019 following two deadly crashes blamed on flight-control software.

The Air Current reported the Dreamliner fuselage issues earlier Friday. In addition to Singapore Airlines, it said United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Air Canada are impacted by the grounding, citing an unidentified person familiar with the situation.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

WestJet reinforces commitment to safety with zero-tolerance mask policy

Airline to increase support for contact tracing through mandatory guest contact information

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 28, 2020 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group today announced multiple safety updates including the potential for denied travel and a one-year WestJet Group travel ban for those who fail to comply with the airlines’ mask regulation. The WestJet Group also announced the mandatory input of all guests’ contact information at online and kiosk check-in to help the Public Health Agency of Canada and the provincial public health agencies across Canada with contact tracing in the case of infected individuals on board. The WestJet Group includes WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and Swoop.

Zero Tolerance Mask Policy
Effective, September 1, 2020, the WestJet Group will implement a zero-tolerance policy in support of the requirement for all guests, over the age of two, to wear masks and face coverings. Non-compliant guests will face penalties including denied boarding, return of the aircraft to the gate to offload the passenger and the suspension of travel on any WestJet Group aircraft for up to one year.

“Canadian travellers and all of our WestJet Group employees are counting on us to keep them safe and it is our utmost priority to do so,” said Ed Sims, The WestJet Group President and CEO. “Masks are mandated by our regulator and the vast majority of our guests are happy to keep themselves and each other safe by complying. This enhanced policy provides clarity on how we will enforce the regulation for those who don’t. Travellers must understand if they choose to not wear a mask, they are choosing not to fly our airlines.”

Non-compliance on board the aircraft will be managed through a three-step process:

  1. Passengers will first be asked to put the mask on in a discussion with cabin crew.
  2. Passengers will be given a warning that masks are required, and compliance is necessary.
  3. Passengers will receive notice that non-compliance will result in follow up notification that they will be placed on a no-fly list for 12-months.  

Since April 20, 2020, it has been mandatory for travellers to wear protective face coverings throughout their travel journey, including at the airport and while in flight and at the airport.  As outlined by Transport Canada, travellers requiring an exemption to the regulation for health reasons must produce a certified medical note or will be subject to the measures as outlined. Complete guidelines on non-medical masks are available here.

Prior to flying, it is important travellers understand the current regulations and modifications to services in response to COVID-19. Travellers that wish to eat or drink while on board remain able to do so if they replace their mask once finished.

Contact Tracing Enhancements
Effective, September 1, 2020, the input of contact information for those travelling on WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and Swoop will become mandatory at the 24-hour check-in process online and at kiosks. Mandatory information at WestJet check-in kiosks will be phased into the policy change by the end of September.

Once implemented, guests will no longer be able to bypass the information screen and will be required to input up-to-date information prior to the issuance of a boarding pass. It is the responsibility of the traveller to provide accurate information.

“We continue to work collaboratively with our health partners to adapt our procedures,” added Sims. “A coordinated approach is essential, and we are advocating for contact tracing enhancements along with the introduction of testing.”

Since March, the WestJet Group has been the only Canadian airline to provide full transparency in advising the public of flights affected by COVID-19. Between March 23 and August 25, WestJet has flown more than 725,000 guests on 19,370 flights. Of those, the airline has been notified of just over 230 flights where infected individuals have flown, this accounts for less than one per cent of flights. Swoop has operated 1,070 flights with 103,000 travellers and has been notified of eight flights where infected individuals have flown, accounting for less than one per cent of flights. There have been no reported cases of transmission on board any WestJet Group aircraft. 

WestJet (including WestJet Encore and WestJet Link) and Swoop remain the only operators in Canada taking the extra steps to post affected flights to external channels in effort to inform the public at large and to aid the media in assisting public health officials in disseminating information as quickly and as broadly as possible.

WestJet has built a framework to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly. From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline invested quickly in hygiene and safety measures to mitigate the risk throughout the entire travel journey, investing millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, cleaning and additional measures to protect those who had to fly. The airline continues to invest, test and trial multiple additional safety measures to ensure safety above all.

Additional Quotes on masks:
“CUPE is very pleased to see the further steps WestJet is taking to keep our members safe and empowered. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the airline in reassuring all guests that air travel is truly safe.”

– Chris Rauenbusch, President CUPE Local 4070