CarteNav to Power New Netherlands Coast Guard Multi-Role Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

The two DHC-8 aircraft missionized by JetSupport and PAL Aerospace, will provide multi-role capabilities including search & rescue, law enforcement, pollution monitoring, maritime traffic research, and surveillance to the North Sea.

HALIFAX, NS, Sept. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – CarteNav, a leader in C4ISR mission software, announces today their contribution of the AIMS-ISR mission system to JetSupport and PAL Aerospace’s winning bid to deliver two multi-role Maritime Surveillance Aircraft to the Netherlands Coastguard. The contract covers an initial ten-year period with an option to extend for two additional one-year terms.   

To develop the two platforms, JetSupport and PAL Aerospace will employ CarteNav’s AIMS-ISR mission software. To deliver the multi-role capabilities in a unified mission management system, CarteNav plans to develop new Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) and IR/UV Line Scanner Moving Maps capabilities – providing unparalleled multi-role air reconnaissance capabilities in the North Sea.   

The new SLAR and Line Scanning features will be fully integrated alongside a multi-sensor suite within the AIMS-ISR mission system – supporting accurate situational monitoring of the North Sea. A primary feature will be the ability to identify and track pollution events such as oil spills. 

“In addition to the multi-role ISR capabilities we are known for delivering, we are particularly excited to implement new sensor technologies that expand our portfolio of environmental and maritime monitoring solutions,” said Carl Daniels, COO of CarteNav. “Longer-term agreements like this one support CartNav’s culture of innovation. Given our strong technical relationships, JetSupport and PAL Aerospace are ideal partners to deliver these new and highly capable multi-role aircraft to the Netherlands Coast Guard.” 

The Future of Maritime Surveillance Aircraft
The next generation of C4ISR multi-role Maritime Surveillance Aircraft is powered by AIMS-ISR. With a single Moving Maps platform supporting EO/IR, radar, ViDAR, SLAR, IR/UV Line Scanner, SIGINT, and more – capabilities are extended far beyond the status quo while providing systems integrators flexibility and efficiency.   

GTAA issues notification regarding changes to rates and charges

Adjustments to aeronautical rates and airport improvement fee reflect significant financial impacts of COVID-19 and continued related investments

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – The downturn in air travel at Toronto Pearson as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced the Greater Toronto Airports Authority’s (GTAA) revenues, comprising aeronautical and commercial revenues, as well as its airport improvement fee (AIF). The GTAA has already taken significant steps to reduce and prioritize operating and capital expenditures, as well as reducing its workforce by 27 percent. At the same time, the GTAA has invested to meet changing demands for a healthy, touchless airport journey for passengers, and will continue to invest in order to position itself at the forefront of airport hygiene, creating a travel experience that is designed to restore passenger confidence.

In order to continue delivering on passenger requirements for a healthy airport environment, and to support continued strong financial liquidity, the GTAA is announcing the following changes to aeronautical rates and the AIF, effective January 1, 2021:

  • Aeronautical rates for commercial aviation will increase by 3%.
  • The AIF for departing passengers will increase by $5 to $30.1
  • The AIF for connecting passengers will increase by $2 to $6.
  • Aeronautical rates for all business and general aviation aircraft 19,000kg or less will increase to $575 per arrival movement.2

Commercial aeronautical rates and the AIF have not increased at Toronto Pearson for 13 and 11 years, respectively during a period of strong growth at the airport.

“The impact of the pandemic on Toronto Pearson’s business and Canada’s aviation sector has been nothing short of devastating,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “These changes to aeronautical rates and the AIF follow more than a decade during which there were no increases to commercial aeronautical rates or the AIF at Toronto Pearson.  Today’s announcement will position the GTAA fiscally for continued investments in healthy travel and industry recovery.”

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information requires the GTAA to make assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements reflect GTAA management’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to GTAA management. There is a risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions and projections that constitute forward-looking information will not prove to be accurate, that the GTAA’s assumptions may not be correct and that actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking information. Additional detailed information about these assumptions, risks and uncertainties is included in the GTAA’s securities regulatory filings, including its most recent Annual Information Form and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which can be found on SEDAR at

WestJet Won’t Hide The Boeing 737 MAX From Customers

From Simple Flying – link to story

by Joanna Bailey | September 29, 2020

Canadian low-cost WestJet is eagerly awaiting the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX. Speaking at the World Aviation Festival last week, Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, noted how important it was to remain transparent with its guests, and said WestJet was prepared to deal with customers who were uncomfortable flying the type.

WestJet 737 MAX
WestJet is prepared to deal with ‘sensitivities’ over the 737 MAX. Photo: WestJet

WestJet prepared to deal with sensitivities around the MAX

Following Transport Canada’s conclusion of the Boeing 737 MAX flight tests, Canadian airlines are looking forward to getting the type back in their fleets. One such airline is WestJet, which has said it is ‘excited’ to welcome back the aircraft.

Speaking at last week’s World Aviation Festival, Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, commented,

“We’re anxious to get the aircraft back. It scores really well with our guests.”

While those who did manage to get a flight on the 737 MAX likely would have felt it was a great aircraft, perceptions have changed a lot since then. Two fatal accidents and a grounding that has gone on for far longer than anyone could have imagined have shaken travelers’ confidence and assured that the designation ‘MAX’ has stuck in the passengers’ minds.

Jeff Martin WestJet
WestJet COO Jeff Martin says the airline is anxious to get the plane back in service. Photo: WestJet

The WestJet COO is acutely aware of this and is prepared to make concessions for those unwilling to fly it in the early days. Martin said,

“We anticipate sensitivities. We will be completely transparent anybody who’s going to board a MAX aircraft they will know that, and we will be prepared to deal with folks if for some reason they don’t feel comfortable.”

Martin did not specify precisely how WestJet planned to handle objections to flying the type. However, other airlines have similarly said they wish to be transparent with customers about the type. Back in March, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary told Simple Flying it would not force passengers to fly on the MAX.

The importance of transparency

For WestJet, Martin believes full transparency is the key to customer relations. He noted that, through the current crisis, keeping the lines of communication open with customers has been essential. It’s a theme he plans to continue as the MAX returns to service too. He said,

“There’s a common theme that we’ve learned through this crisis … you just have to be transparent. You have to be transparent with the travelling public on what the risks are and what your mitigations are, and people will make their decisions. It’s the only way you can survive in this industry is just 100% transparency.”

2,000 man-hours required

Even though WestJet is already laying the groundwork for the MAX to return to service, Martin warned that it would not happen any time soon. Although he expects the ban to be lifted in the fourth quarter of the year, he also said that the amount of work required to bring the type back into operation should not be underestimated. He noted,Advertisement:

“We estimate there’s probably close to 2,000 man-hours of work that needs to be done. It’s normal maintenance, as well as sending our pilots off to training so they can go through a specified MAX simulator.

“Those are the same steps that would be taken on the aircraft that are parked right now, whether it’s a MAX or an Airbus or an NG. Any plane that’s parked has to have its maintenance protocols brought up to speed.”

WestJet 737 MAX 8
The airline has 13 airframes ready-built and parked in the US. Photo: Getty Images

Right now, 13 MAX are parked in the USA, all of which will eventually head back to Canada to enter service. To those, WestJet is planning to add another 43 of the type, spread across the MAX 7, 8 and 10. While Martin says WestJet is committed to taking these deliveries, he also notes that the current crisis will have a bearing on how quickly they arrive.

Temperature screening for air travellers expanded to 11 additional Canadian airports

OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 29, 2020 /CNW/ – The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis that is having a significant impact on the air industry and Canadian travellers. As we continue to take steps to strengthen Canada’s air transportation network, the Government of Canada continues to implement a multi-layered framework of measures to protect Canadians, and help prevent air travel from being a source for the spread of the virus.

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, has announced implementation of temperature screening for travellers at 11 additional Canadian airports. In June 2020, the Government of Canada announced a multi-phased approach to temperature screenings for all passengers travelling to Canada and travellers departing some Canadian airports, for either international or domestic destinations.

Temperature screening stations have been in place since July 30, 2020 at the four largest airports in Canada:  Montréal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. This includes temperature screening for both departing passengers as well as non-passengers (e.g., airport workers, flight crews).  

Since September 23, 2020, temperature screening is being conducted at these additional Canadian airports: St. John’s, Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto – Billy Bishop, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Kelowna and Victoria. In addition, all employees and personnel that enter or work in the restricted area of these airports are subject to temperature screening procedures by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority personnel.

More and more Canadians and travellers are understanding the importance of staying home when feeling ill, as well as following other important safety measures such as good hygiene practices and wearing face coverings or non-medical masks during their travel.

All passengers who have an elevated temperature and do not have a medical certificate to explain a medical or physical condition that would result in an elevated temperature, are not permitted to continue their travel and are asked to re-book after 14 days.


“As Minister of Transport, my highest priority is the safety and security of Canadians and the transportation system. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canadians have come together, made sacrifices, and done their part to help limit the spread of the virus. Our Government has expanded temperature screenings to major airports across the country to support these efforts and as another measure in our multi-layered approach to help protect the safety of the travelling public and air industry workers. The collective efforts of all Canadians have helped us during the pandemic, and will continue to do so as we move forward.”

Minister of Transport
The Honourable Marc Garneau

Quick Facts

  • Airport temperature screening has been endorsed by the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • For international flights to Canada, air operators must conduct temperature screenings at the point of departure, unless the local authority has an equivalent measure in place, in addition to the existing required health check questions for symptoms prior to boarding.
  • Within Canada, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority screeners are conducting the temperature screening of passengers as part of departure screening procedures. This is in addition to the health screening questions and the requirement to wear face coverings that already exist for all passengers.

Associated Links

Bombardier Continues Global Customer Service Expansion, Sets Stage for OEM Service in Europe

Source: Bombardier Business Aircraft

  • Bombardier setting the stage to establish a wholly-owned service centre in Berlin following agreement with Lufthansa Technik AG and ExecuJet Aviation Group AG
  • Key strategic move for Bombardier to grow customer support network as company focuses solely on business aviation
  • OEM-trained team in Berlin facility will provide customers with Bombardier’s full suite of world-class aftermarket MRO expertise and capabilities
  • Bombardier continues to invest in an extensive worldwide expansion of its customer services network in Europe, Asia and North America

MONTREAL, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier today announced that the company has entered into share purchase agreements with each of Lufthansa Technik AG and ExecuJet Aviation Group AG to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) that it does not own. This transaction enables Bombardier to further expand its worldwide customer support footprint by establishing a wholly-owned service centre in Berlin. The transactions are subject to customary closing conditions with closings anticipated to occur before the end of the year.

“Bombardier has had a strong presence in Germany for many years, and we are proud that these significant transactions will continue to grow our presence in Europe as we work towards establishing a wholly-owned Bombardier service centre in Berlin,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Vice President and General Manager, Customer Experience, Bombardier Aviation. “This investment is critical to the expansion of our service footprint in Europe and around the world, and as the service centre is set to become a wholly-owned Bombardier service centre, our customers will benefit from even more advantages and expertise offered by the OEM.”

Strategically located at Berlin-Schönefeld airport, the service centre has been providing exceptional MRO services to Bombardier business aircraft customers since 1997. With more than 160,000 sq. ft. (15,000 sq. metres) of service capacity and 240 highly-skilled employees on site, the service centre provides customers with the highest-level maintenance and support for Bombardier’s growing fleet of Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets based in Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.

The service centre has received several awards for its technical excellence and customer satisfaction, thanks largely to an experienced and dedicated workforce. Among its many milestones, it was named the best Authorized Service Facility in Europe multiple times and was the first in Europe to perform maintenance on Bombardier’s flagship Global 7500 aircraft. The state-of-the-art service centre recently modernized and transformed its shop floor to maximize efficiencies and streamline processes, providing customers with an unsurpassed service experience.

“With this direction, we continue to develop new reasons for customers to bring their jets to this location – and seek new ways for customers to benefit from the highest quality standards displayed by the dedicated, skilled teams on site,” added Gallagher. “As Bombardier charts a new course with its jet customers at the heart of our activities, we will continue to look for ways to actively grow the service footprint and optimize our service standard for our customers.”

These announcements reflect the latest infrastructure investments aimed at enhancing Bombardier’s worldwide customer service network. Recent announcements include the construction of a new, state-of-the-art service centre at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport; the ongoing expansion of the Biggin Hill service centre in London; the major expansion of our Singapore Service Centre at the Seletar Aerospace Park; new Line Maintenance Stations (LMS) at strategic locations in the U.S, Europe; and new products and services for customers, including the next steps in Bombardier’s digital transformation.

WestJet Has Only Banned 11 Flyers Due To Mask Refusal

From Simple Flying – link to story

by Joanna Bailey | September 29, 2020

WestJet was the first Canadian airline to introduce no exemption mask rules, using a yellow card system to warn fliers about noncompliance. Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, revealed last week that, so far, only 90 incidents have occurred, with just 11 passengers being added to the no-fly list.

WestJet’s passengers have been highly compliant, with only 11 placed on the no-fly list. Photo: WestJet

WestJet’s unusual mask policy

Although airports, airlines and regulators had been touting mask-wearing as an essential part of travel during the pandemic, there remained various ways to wriggle out of it. For airlines, there were very little teeth in the corporate policy to help them enforce mask-wearing in flight.

For WestJet, the answer was simple. The airline introduced a no-tolerance policy. You either wear a mask, or you simply don’t fly. Chief Operating Officer of WestJet, Jeff Martin, spoke at the World Aviation Festival last week about the airline’s thinking behind the decision. He said,

“Under the banner of being first, we made a decision at the executive team, effective September 1, we went with mandatory, no-tolerance. We had to go out to all the employees and say, this is going to put you in a very awkward position, but we want to protect you. We want to protect the guests.”

WestJet introduced a zero-tolerance policy on September 1st. Photo: WestJet

While WestJet was first in Canada to spring for a ‘no excuses’ mask policy, other airlines have been similarly hardline in their stance. Alaska removed all exemptions in August, Southwest in July, and the US big three just before that. While enforcing masks was nothing new, the way WestJet implemented the requirement was amusingly left-field. Martin explained,

“We went with a yellow card, red card scenario. So, if somebody is not complying, we hand them a yellow card. They read the directions – it says, ‘look you’re non-compliant, please put your mask on’. If you don’t, we hand you the red card, which basically says it’s your last chance. If you don’t then, you will now be placed on a no-fly list.”

It seems WestJet took its inspiration from Alaska, who introduced a similar system in early August. While some airlines have struggled to get passengers to comply, it seems WestJet’s passengers have been relatively well-behaved.

Only 11 on the no-fly list

Since airlines have got tough on mask-wearing, there have been numerous horror stories of crews having to battle passengers to get them to comply. Flights have been delayed, passengers removed, and complaints made.

In just a few weeks from the start of its no-exemption mask rule, Delta had added around 240 people to its no-fly list. Indeed, across the United States, some 700 passengers have already been banned from flying for breaching mask-wearing policies. At WestJet, things are somewhat different. Martin said,

“Since September 1, we’ve had 90 events, and we’ve had to place 11 people on our no-fly list.”

That’s a pretty good compliance rate by anyone standards, although the WestJet COO said it’s not always been easy.Advertisement:

“It’s tough being the mask policeman. We didn’t want that role, but we will do anything to protect guests and employees.”

The WestJet COO believes that the answer to unlocking travel is quick pre-flight testing. Until then, he says it will maintain its mask policy in a bid to keep everyone safe.

Advocates say ‘contact airline first’ clause deprives passenger compensation

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

The Canadian Press | 28 September 2020

An Airbus A320-200 passenger jet, operated by South African Airlines, flies above a construction site during take-off from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
An Airbus A320-200 passenger jet, operated by South African Airlines, flies above a construction site during take-off from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. , Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

MONTREAL — A passenger rights company is calling on the country’s transportation regulator to take a stand against airlines that bar travellers from engaging a third party to seek compensation until their claims have already been rejected.

So called “contact airline first” clauses stipulate that passengers seeking compensation must initially reach out to the airline directly, rather than filing a claim through a law firm, company or advocacy group. Berlin-based AirHelp says the provisions protect carriers’ interests at the expense of their customers, depriving them of key information when they ask to be compensated for delayed flights or damaged luggage.

“‘Contact airline first’ clauses are often used as an opportunity to reject and filter out many valid claims, as the airlines know the majority of passengers will not pursue the matter further,” AirHelp chief legal officer Christian Nielsen said in release.

Up to two-thirds of Canadian claimants give up their claim after an initial rejection by the airline, according to an online YouGov survey last year that included 10,400 participants from nine countries.

A 2019 AirHelp study drawing on hundreds of thousands of the company’s claims also found that airlines wrongfully reject more than 50 per cent of valid claims at first.

Air Canada customer Steve Pereira hopes to force legal clarity on the issue with a case now before the Canadian Transportation Agency, though a backlog of thousands of complaints could delay the outcome.

The regulator upheld Air Canada’s clause in a decision from March 2019, the airline noted.

“It is always our desire to resolve any issues that arise quickly and fairly,” Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said in an email.

“The agency said our approach is a means to minimize delays and offers an efficient way to resolve claims (noting our online process is very easy to use and customer friendly), it protects the interests of passengers, and is in keeping with the intent of other regulations, such as the EU rules.”

AirHelp says the precedent comes into question in the wake of recent case law abroad and a new passenger rights charter in Canada.

“Times have changed,” Nielsen said in a phone interview.

“Over the last two years, that case law has been overturned. So now in Europe it’s illegal,” he said, citing a pair of rulings in German and Austrian courts over the past 12 months.

The federal government rolled out its Air Passenger Protection Regulations last year, which lay out compensation requirements for incidents ranging from tarmac delays to flight bumping.

Airlines filed a court challenge soon after arguing the regulations go too far on mandatory compensation, while consumer advocates say the rules grant carriers too many exemptions.

Air Canada and Porter Airlines Inc., along with 17 other applicants that include the International Air Transport Association — which has some 290 member airlines — state in a court filing from June 2019 that required payments under the air passenger bill of rights violate international standards and should be rendered invalid.

The rules require passengers to be compensated up to $2,400 if they are denied boarding because a flight was overbooked and receive up to $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage. Compensation also includes up to $1,000 for delays or cancelled flights.

Advocates have said the criteria for monetary compensation are tough to meet as passengers have to present evidence that is typically in the hands of an airline.

Rocky Mountain House airport manager one of 2 dead in plane crash near Thorsby

From CBC News – link to story

Ken Fowler was an experienced, well-respected pilot, employer says in statement

CBC News · Posted: Sep 26, 2020

Two are dead after a plane crashed northwest of Thorsby, Alta., RCMP say. (CBC)

The manager of the airport in Rocky Mountain House was one of two people killed Saturday when a small plane crashed and burned in a field near Thorsby, Alta., 70 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

Police received a call at 1:41 p.m that a Harmon Rocket plane crashed into a field near Township Road 504 and Range Road 21, and then caught fire.

Police found two dead people inside the wreckage — the 59-year-old pilot and a 48-year-old woman who was his passenger. Both were from Rocky Mountain House, where the flight had originated, RCMP said in a news release.

In a statement Monday, the Town of Rocky Mountain House identified the pilot as Ken Fowler, who had managed the local airport for the past 22 years.

“[Fowler] was an experienced pilot who was well-respected by the aerobatic, military and amateur flying communities alike,” the statement said.

“The Town of Rocky Mountain house extends its deepest condolences to the families of Mr. Fowler and his passenger.”

The town said its council and administration will support staff who are grieving the loss of their colleague and friend.

The Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash, police said.

The Harmon Rocket is a sport plane typically built from a kit.

Thorsby RCMP remained on scene Saturday and said no further updates would be provided.

Regional airports desperate for federal aid amid ‘toughest months ever’

From CBC News – link to story

Industry expert says regular passenger levels likely won’t return until 2024

CBC News · Posted: Sep 27, 2020

The Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport is a lot quieter these days after passenger traffic plummeted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Shane Magee/CBC News)

Airports in Atlantic Canada are hopeful a brief mention in this week’s throne speech could signal federal support is on the way as the latest numbers illustrate a dire situation for the industry in the region.

The Atlantic Canada Airports Association, which represents 11 airports in the region, reported this week that passenger levels remain a fraction of what they were before the onset of COVID-19 and subsequent travel restrictions in the Atlantic bubble.

Karl Moore, an airline industry expert and professor at McGill University, said the long-term outlook doesn’t look good, either, with global aviation organizations forecasting a return to regular traffic in 2024.

The situation could jeopardize the long-term future of some airline routes to the East Coast, he said

An Air Canada jet approaches the terminal at St. John’s International Airport. The airliner suspended indefinitely 14 regional routes in Atlantic Canada because of the downturn in passengers. (CBC)

“There’s no point flying down, spending the money, polluting the air if there’s no one on the flight,” Moore said.

“If people are unable or unwilling to travel because of government restrictions or health or whatever reasons they have, that means those flights aren’t going to be flown because it’s not going to make sense economically.”

Derek Stanford, the Atlantic Canada Airports Association president and CEO of the Saint John Airport, said airport officials have been lobbying the federal government for financial assistance as the recovery timeline continues to be pushed back. 

“While we are critical infrastructure, we certainly aren’t treated that way,” Stanford said.

The Saint John Airport is down to a single passenger flight per day, to Montreal, and he said there are few options to cut costs and remain compliant with aviation standards and open for essential services, such as medevac flights. The airport has already laid off 40 per cent of its workforce and scrapped capital project plans. 

Now, after the “toughest months ever,” he wants to see government intervention.

“You can have uber strict border policies, but it doesn’t mean you can have airports operating at full capacity. It’s not the post office,” he said. “We’re not a utility that’s always there, always on.”

Derrick Stanford is the CEO of the Saint John Airport and the president of the Atlantic Canada Airports Association. (Submitted by Derrick Stanford)

The federal Liberal government’s throne speech said Ottawa will work to support regional routes, many of which have been suspended in Atlantic Canada.

“It is essential that Canadians have access to reliable and affordable regional air services,” the speech said. “This is an issue of equity, of jobs, and of economic development.”

What that support will look like is unclear at the moment, but Stanford’s association has pitched solutions such as federal grants or forgivable loans, expanding assistance programs for other infrastructure to airports, or waiving the rent fees airports pay to the government. 

He said the situation for the industry is unsustainable, with airports facing multimillion-dollar losses this year and left relying on cash reserves and lines of credit to remain afloat.

Airliners also keen for help

Moore said airliners are also looking to Ottawa. They need to see an increase in traffic demand so they can at least break even or they need some kind of financial aid package. 

Otherwise, he said, it doesn’t make economic sense to fly to Atlantic Canada. Earlier this year, Air Canada suspended indefinitely 14 routes in the region and closed its stations at the Bathurst and Wabush, N.L., airports.

“It’s something where it does put at risk, to some degree, the future of airline travel between Atlantic Canada and the rest of the country and, indeed, globally,” Moore said.

Karl Moore, an airline industry expert and professor at McGill University, says the recovery timeline for the industry has been pushed to 2024.

Moore said the restrictions around the Atlantic bubble, which require non-essential travellers to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, pose an extra barrier for the industry in the region. 

He travelled to teach in Iceland during the pandemic and was told he couldn’t meet more than 10 people for the first five days of his trip. He was, however, permitted to drive around and sightsee. 

“It’s an opportunity that is absolutely causing economic difficulties in Atlantic Canada … but, then again, it might be the best thing to do from a health-care viewpoint,” Moore said.

With cases climbing in other provinces this week, new cases in each Atlantic province remain in the single digits in the past seven days. 

The Atlantic Canada Airports Association projected in a release this week that its 11 airports will see a drop of 5.5 million passengers this year compared with 2019, resulting in a net loss of $76 million across the region.

“Summer results are in,” executive director Monette Pasher said in the release. “What is normally a period in which airports depend to boost revenues for the entire year saw passenger traffic down 89 per cent and 87 per cent respectively in July and August in comparison to 2019.”

A new route

Bernard LeBlanc, CEO of the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport, said the airport saw a slight bump in passengers during the summer months after losing 98 per cent of traffic in the spring. 

However, he said Monton is nowhere close to normal levels — the airport is running four flights daily compared with the usual 15 to 20 — and further growth is limited.

“With the travel restrictions in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada, it’s very limited how much more growth we could see or how airline capacity we see coming in because it’s very restricted in terms of who can travel and who’s required to quarantine if they travel,” LeBlanc said.

Part of that recent growth can be attributed to the new PAL Airlines route between Moncton and St. John’s, a route that hadn’t been active since 2006. 

LeBlanc said the airline and airport saw an opportunity after Air Canada cancelled all routes between Halifax and airports in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, meaning the only option to fly to St. John’s was driving through Halifax or detouring through Toronto or Montreal.

Bernard LeBlanc, CEO of the Moncton airport, said any opportunities for growth are limited under the travel restrictions. (Ian Bonnell/CBC News )

That bit of positivity is shrouded in an uncertain future for the airport, which is facing a $7-million loss this year, LeBlanc said.

The airport is not a designated international airport during the pandemic and will miss out on the roughly 50,000 passengers who travel from Monton to sunny, southern destinations annually — a service that likely won’t resume until 2024, he said.

“As we get deeper and deeper into this pandemic, if things don’t improve, if things don’t change, if the revenue streams don’t start, the only way you can reduce more is to do less,” LeBlanc said. 

“So doing less could be, ‘Do we need two runways when we can only afford one runway? Do we need four taxiways or could we operate with two? Do we need to [use] all our parking lots or just a portion of that?’

“I think what could happen if things don’t get better or worse down the line, we will have to look at reducing the level of activity that we do in line with what the requirements are.”

With files from Alexandre Silberman and Information Morning Saint John

Man and woman from Rocky Mountain House dead in plane crash near Thorsby, RCMP confirm

From CBC News – link to story

The Harmon Rocket plane crashed northwest of Thorsby, Alta. on Saturday afternoon

CBC News · Posted: Sep 26, 2020

Two are dead after a plane crashed northwest of Thorsby, Alta., RCMP say. (CBC)

RCMP confirmed that a man and woman have died after a small aircraft crashed on Saturday afternoon, northwest of Thorsby, Alta., located more than 70 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.  

Police received a call at 1:41 p.m that a Harmon Rocket plane crashed onto a field near Township Road 504 and Range Road 21, and then caught fire.

The plane was travelling from Rocky Mountain House, Alta., prior to the crash with two occupants, a 59-year old man who was piloting the plane and a 48-year-old female passenger, both from Rocky Mountain House, according to a release from the RCMP.

Police said the Transportation Safety Board will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Thorsby RCMP remain on scene although no further updates will be provided.