Kirsten Clarke / Richmond News | OCTOBER 29, 2020 08:00
Richmond News archive
Vancouver International Airport and WestJet are aiming to get a COVID-19 rapid test pilot up and running some time in November.
Rather than target specific routes, testing will be carried out in a four-hour daily window in order to capture WestJet’s departing domestic flights, said YVR’s vice-president of operations and maintenance, Robyn McVicker, and Billy Nolen, WestJet’s vice-president of safety, security and quality, in a joint announcement posted to the airport’s website on Monday. article continues below
“The pilot will target Lower Mainland residents to ensure anyone testing positive can easily return home,” said McVicker and Nolen.
Meanwhile, Citizen Care Pod will provide a “ready-made testing station,” located on the curb outside WestJet’s domestic check-in area at YVR, according to Monday’s announcement.about:blank
McVicker and Nolen say the 40-foot pod will provide “a private, safe and comfortable environment” to carry out testing. The pod will also be climate-controlled and utilize HEPA filters “to ensure the air is as sterile as any hospital environment.”
A spokesperson for YVR said the pod will only be in place for the pilot study and is not a permanent solution.
YVR is also developing a web portal and will likely have passengers sign up in advance for testing, according to the spokesperson.
“The testing will entail a straightforward process – a brief consult with research coordinators prior to undergoing testing, followed by a short questionnaire before receiving results – and will not add much time to the airport journey,” said McVicker and Nolen.
In a poll of 1,966 passengers, nearly two-thirds of those polled “expressed strong support” for rapid-testing at the airport, said McVicker and Nolen.
Earlier this month, YVR and WestJet announced the University of British Columbia would help select the test used in the pilot program.
As part of the program – first announced in August – passengers could receive their test results prior to boarding their flight.
Data collected from the program will help inform protocol at YVR and WestJet, and will also be shared with health authorities to support public health knowledge and decision-making around COVID-19 testing and tracing in B.C.
The pilot testing program is being reviewed first by the UBC ethics board, said the spokesperson.
Last week, the federal government and Alberta announced a joint pilot testing program – the first of its kind in Canada – which would reduce the mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travellers with rapid testing.
COVID-19 testing will be carried out at Calgary International Airport and the Coutts land border crossing. While passengers who receive the test would still have to go into quarantine, they would be allowed to leave if the test comes back negative and if they commit to a second test six or seven days after they arrive in Canada.
All amounts in this press release are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.
MONTREAL, Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The closing of the previously announced aerostructure business transaction between Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBD.B) and Spirit AeroSystems Holding, Inc. (NYSE : SPR) came into effect today on October 30, 2020.
Spirit now owns Bombardier’s aerostructures activities and aftermarket services operations in Belfast, U.K.; Casablanca, Morocco; and its aerostructures maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Dallas, U.S. in exchange for cash consideration of $275 million, Spirit’s assumption of liabilities, including government refundable advances, pension obligations, as well as certain adjustments to the parties’ trading agreements favourable to Bombardier. The total transaction value is approximatively $1.2 billion.
The president and CEO of Winnipeg’s airport says government support is needed to support the travel service.
From July 6 to September 27, the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) averaged 2,051 passengers per day in its third quarter. Typically the airport sees 13,273 during this time. This is an 85 per cent drop in users.
“Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, like the rest of Canada’s airports, continues to struggle as governments restrict travel and impose self‐isolation protocols, crippling airport revenues,” Barry Rempel, President and CEO of WAA says.
They say the consolidated revenue for the third quarter in 2019 was $36.1 million. In 2020 is its less than half of that at $14.3 million. YWG says for 2019, their third-quarter earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes was $18.5 million. In 2020 it is $2.6 million. Ninety per cent of the airport’s revenue is linked to passenger traffic.
The airport says they have done things such as shutting down areas of the terminal, reducing staffing, and delaying capital projects to save money, but it is not enough.
“Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will be essential to this region’s economic recovery, but we can’t do it alone. Government support is required to ensure the airport can continue to provide essential services for our community in the future.”
They say they must keep the airport open to continue to move critical goods and provide essential services throughout the pandemic while following regulatory obligations.
LONGUEUIL, QC, Oct. 29, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is helping prepare Canada’s space industry for future missions to the Moon. The CSA is awarding $3.3 million in contributions to support the demonstration of two lunar technology payloads and their launch to the Moon.
This is the first time Canada will conduct a technology demonstration in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface. It represents a significant step in Canada’s participation in the next chapter of Moon exploration.
The demonstrations are:
Ontario company Canadensys Aerospace Corporation will develop, launch and test a lightweight and energy-efficient 360° camera that will capture stunning panoramic images of the lunar surface.
Quebec-based NGC Aerospace Ltd. will demonstrate a planetary navigation system similar to the GPS technology used on Earth. The system will use features on the surface of the Moon to guide and land a lunar vehicle safely, in a precise location.
These innovative technologies will enable new commercial opportunities and position the Canadian space industry for the future economy created by Moon exploration. The CSA will continue to support Canadian organizations by providing a wide range of opportunities for Canadian science and technology activities in lunar orbit, on the Moon’s surface, and beyond.
“In supporting the Canadian space sector, our Government is committed to the growth and career development of tomorrow’s industry leaders. Not only will this funding put Canada on the Moon, but it will also help strengthen Canada’s R&D capabilities, advance our scientific knowledge, and put Canada in a prime position for further space exploration.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Canadensys Aerospace Corporation is receiving a contribution of $2.49 million.
NGC Aerospace Ltd. is receiving a contribution of $840,153.
The two technologies will launch to the Moon by April 2024.
Funding for these projects stems from the CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP). LEAP is preparing Canada’s space sector for humanity’s return to the Moon by earmarking $150 million over five years to help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface in fields that include artificial intelligence, robotics, and health.
TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As Sunwing gears up to resume flight service beginning on November 6, 2020, Sunwing Airlines is pleased to announce that its aircraft will be treated using AEGIS Microbe Shield®, a powerful antimicrobial spray that controls and prevents the growth of bacteria on surfaces.
A first-of-its-kind among Canadian airlines, the AEGIS® treatment is being introduced on Sunwing planes as part of the company’s Safe with Sunwing commitment, which includes enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols to protect customers and employees at every step of the vacation journey
“The health and safety of our customers and employees is a top priority at Sunwing,” commented Mark Williams, President of Sunwing Airlines. “We’re always looking to introduce cutting-edge improvements, and that’s why we’re proud to be the first Canadian airline to use the AEGIS Microbe Shield® treatment on our aircraft after a rigorous testing period. A key part of our Safe with Sunwing commitment is implementing enhanced health and safety measures to better protect our customers, and this new treatment helps us continue to deliver on that promise and offer an added layer of protection as we return to the skies.”
Registered with global health authorities such as Health Canada, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the European Union, AEGIS® has a history of safe, durable, long-lasting antimicrobial efficacy. Sunwing has seen encouraging results from the use of AEGIS® in Canada across multiple industries, in addition to conducting its own testing on aircraft.
AEGIS Microbe Shield® is an odourless and colourless protective coating that can be applied to surfaces to reduce microbial growth by up to 93%.
“We are pleased to partner with Sunwing as the first Canadian air carrier to offer this new level of surface protection,” commented Colin Dickey, President of Protect Technologies, the exclusive master distributor of AEGIS Microbe Shield® in Canada and the USA. “At this time, there are new expectations around the prevention of microbial growth and cleanliness. The addition of the AEGIS Microbe Shield® into the Safe with Sunwing program reinforces its innovative approach and commitment to the health and safety of Canadians.”
In addition to the AEGIS Microbe Shield® treatment, each Sunwing Airlines plane is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each flight using electrostatic disinfectants. Other Safe with Sunwing measures include the elimination of most printed materials on board and the use of PPE by all staff and crew members. Plus, each Sunwing Airlines plane has HEPA air filters installed, which remove up to 99.9% of airborne particles in the cabin.
To learn more about the Safe with Sunwing commitment, visit the Sunwing website.
Transportation, research and government partners create Vancouver-based consortium to accelerate the implementation of electric and hydrogen powered, vertical takeoff flight in Canada
VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 28, 2020 /CNW/ – The future of flight in Canada took a major step forward today with the launch of the Vancouver-based Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM), a multi-stakeholder group that will streamline research, development and commercial operations in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector, globally recognized as the next frontier of commercial aviation. AAM involves the use of zero-emission, electric or hydrogen fuel cells, and vertical takeoff aircraft to provide transportation, emergency and supply chain services for urban and rural communities. Among the many benefits of these aircraft are greater manoeuverability, less need for ground infrastructure (airport runways), less aircraft noise, reduced fossil fuel consumption, lower costs, shorter travel times and improved safety.
Initiated and created by Canadian Air Mobility and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), there are currently more than twenty partners involved in the national effort. CAAM’s key members include TransLink, Helijet International, British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of British Columbia, Bell Textron, Iskwew Air, and many of Canada’s leading aerospace stakeholders.
“We’ve established an outstanding group of strategic members to support the design, integration, and implementation of Advanced Air Mobility in Canada,” said JR Hammond, Founder & CEO, Canadian Air Mobility and Executive Director, CAAM. “We look forward to demonstrating the economic viability, environmental benefits and social inclusivity factors of this technology and making Canada a world leader in AAM. To that end, we welcome additional members who share our vision that AAM provides the path toward a safer, healthier, and more efficient mode of transportation.”
In addition to providing transportation within urban and rural areas, AAM aircraft will play a critical life-saving role in emergency response situations by enabling faster air transportation of medical supplies, blood, donor organs, or patients to and from hospitals. It will also improve the emergency response and assessment of natural disasters such as floods and wildfires.
Factors making the Greater Vancouver Area a promising AAM market include: a strong aviation infrastructure base; an existing scheduled helicopter service, with heliports in Vancouver and nearby Victoria and Nanaimo; numerous science and transportation research facilities; the Province of British Columbia and City of Vancouver’s commitment to the decarbonization of transportation; and the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia corridor (Vancouver-Seattle-Portland), as one of the busiest routes for the movement of goods and people between Canada and the United States.
Among CAAM’s objectives are to create an AAM innovation hub to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow their technology from a low technology readiness level (TRL) to certification and commercialization, while also expanding the AAM sector’s connections to regulators, manufacturers, aviation operators, infrastructure developers, academia, industry, and governments in Canada and internationally.
“The National Research Council of Canada is proud to be a part of the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility (CAAM) consortium since the start,” said Dr. Ibrahim Yimer, the NRC’s Vice-President of Transportation and Manufacturing. “We look forward to working with our 20 partners who are lending their expertise in the Advanced Air Mobility industry to decarbonize transportation, and create more efficient ways of moving people, goods and services and support more socially connected and integrated communities.”
The future of the new era in aviation means faster medevac services, upwards of 4.2 million AAM travellers over the next 20 years, traveling between downtown Seattle and downtown Vancouver in 1 hour versus 3, expanding connections in remote communities and more importantly, creating new jobs.
For more information, the media and public are invited to view the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility’s white paper which provides further detail on AAM’s missions and services for the Greater Vancouver Area, the Advanced Air Mobility Industry and the importance as well as why Vancouver was selected to be the first region in Canada.
In addition, CAAM hosts a quarterly Digital Open House that provides the public with an opportunity to connect with current stakeholders and learn more about the progress of AAM work in Canada. The next Digital Open House is scheduled for October 30, 2020 from 10:00-12:00 PDT. For more information, please visit the website for registration and future upcoming events.
Seasonal service from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to resume in 2021
Vacation Express Returns with Non-Stop Flights to Cancun on Sunwing Airlines
Seasonal service from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to resume in 2021
ATLANTA, Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vacation Express is happy to announce the return of seasonal, non-stop flights on Sunwing Airlines from Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) to Cancun International Airport (CUN) for select, peak winter dates in early 2021. These exclusive flights are limited and scheduled to depart on February 13, March 27 and April 3, 2021 for seven-night programs to give Buffalonians reprieve from the cold.
“We are excited that Vacation Express will continue to provide these options for travelers next year,” said Kim Minkel, NFTA Executive Director. “And while air travel has changed over the past few months, you can count on the Buffalo Airport and our partners like Vacation Express to put safety and cleanliness at the forefront of your travel experience.”
Flights to Cancun will be operated by Sunwing Airlines on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft which seats 180 passengers. The value-packed flights will enable travelers to sit back and relax while enjoying in-flight entertainment with a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage and light snack. Each traveler will be permitted one free carry-on bag and the opportunity to purchase add-ons like the Preferred Plus option starting at $45 each way, which includes seating in the front rows of coach, two free alcoholic beverages, a complimentary snack box and a free checked bag weighing up to 50 pounds.
New facility will providemaintenance, repair and overhaul on all Bombardier business aircraft, a parts depot and an in-house fixed based operation (FBO)
Australia is animportant market for Bombardier and is part ofa comprehensiveworldwide aftermarket network expansion
MONTREAL, Oct. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier Aviation today announced the development of a new service centre at Essendon Fields Airport in Melbourne, Australia, building on its commitment to the Australian market and establishing the next key building block in its growing global customer support network. The new OEM-operated Melbourne Service Centre will employ some 50 people, including more than 40 highly skilled technicians and boost Bombardier’s customer service footprint in the Asia-Pacific region by some 50,000 square feet.
Australia is a key market for Bombardier. With more than half of the 168-aircraft strong Australian business fleet made up of Bombardier aircraft, this new facility will serve as an important gateway to Asia-Pacific, serving as a key focal point for customers in the region and for future growth prospects of the Bombardier fleet.
“We are thrilled with the addition of the new Melbourne Service Centre, which further builds on Bombardier’s commitment to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Services and Support, and Corporate Strategy, Bombardier Aviation. “By adding more specialized know-how and greater capacity to support more aircraft in this key location, we are providing our customers even more reasons to bring their jets home.”
“This is a tremendous outcome for Melbourne, and it solidifies Essendon Fields as the home of corporate jets in Australia. Essendon Fields will now attract a sizeable proportion of all Bombardier aircraft in the region to Victoria for aircraft service and maintenance,’’ said Brendan Pihan, CEO of Essendon Fields. “This is a long-term commitment, by both parties. With this announcement, we demonstrate a strong commitment to the future of aviation at Essendon Fields.’’
The new facility will provide customers with a variety of service options including scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, modifications, avionics installations and AOG support for Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft. It will also have the capacity to service two Global 7500 aircraft – Bombardier’s exquisite, industry-defining flagship aircraft, at one time. The new service centre will also boast a 4,000 sq. ft. parts depot. Construction is set to begin this year, with the facility slated to be operational in 2022.
Corey Trudgen, the former General Manager of the Biggin Hill Service Centre, will assume the same role at the new facility in Melbourne. Corey brings more than 25-years experience in aviation, and is, in many ways returning to his roots. He started his aviation career as an aircraft technician in the Royal Australian Navy and moved to a number of increasing roles of responsibility in the airline industry. Corey joined Bombardier in 2015 as a Field Service Representative, and quickly moved to leading the Biggin Hill Service Centre as General Manager since 2018.
Corey’s careful leadership and the development of the new facility also underscores the company’s steadfast commitment to the community, including creating a solid pipeline for the creation of future aerospace jobs in the region. The Victoria Government has supported Bombardier’s development of the new facility and its growth plan.
“The Victorian Government is proud to be supporting Bombardier to grow its footprint here in Melbourne, creating more than 50 jobs,” said Martin Pakula, Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery. “This is a regionally-significant development and one that cements Victoria as a major player in Asia-Pacific aviation.”
This announcement is the latest infrastructure investment aimed at enhancing Bombardier’s worldwide customer service network. Recent announcements include the planned future establishment of a wholly-owned service centre in Berlin; 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; as well as new products and services for customers, including the next steps in Bombardier’s digital transformation.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB, Oct. 27, 2020 /CNW/ – The failure of government and the airline industry to embrace a holistic approach to aviation support during the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving the regional and community airports of this country on the brink of financial collapse and airlines facing massive rates and fees increases in 2021.
Despite a dramatic decline in airline passenger traffic since the COVID pandemic began in March, Canada’s smaller airports have carried the financial burden of maintaining their runways, air terminals, and emergency services without access to any previous or current financial aid.
When governments and the public hear of dire situations in the aviation sector the focus tends to be on the major airlines and the major airports that connect Canadians in large urban areas to transborder and international destinations, and that is frustrating to the Regional Community Airports of Canada.
“For all Canadians outside of our large urban centers it is regional and local airports that connect the vast regions of our country for essential services, and business and leisure travel”, says Brian Grant, Chair of the RCAC. “These smaller airports play a critical role in providing remote access and a quality of life that all Canadians expect. Movement of critical food supplies, emergency health care, essential cargo, emergency evacuation, forest fire fighting services are just a few examples of what regional and community airports deliver in addition to passenger air travel”.
According to the RCAC all airports have been hit with severe reductions in revenues and reduced or canceled air service leaving them unable to meet the costs of operating the airports unless governments step in with direct financial support soon.
“2020 has been a year of deep staffing cuts and reducing services, under the pressure of exceptional revenue loses, to meet fixed operational and safety costs dictated by government regulation along with new pandemic related costs to ensure the safety and confidence of travelers”, continues Mr. Grant. “In 2021 these airports are estimating upwards of 45-60% increases in rates and fees charged to airlines and passengers to continue operations as they exist today. In most cases reserve funds have been depleted and the only possible reductions left are closures of airport infrastructure”.
Recommendations highlighted by the national organization for effective support include:
Ensure regional and community airports’ eligibility to all federal COVID assistance programs (i.e. emergency wage subsidy, debit relief and loans programs, and rent subsidy etc.) regardless of governance or ownership model.
Stabilize the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy for airports to not less than 75% for 2021 to protect the employment capabilities of these airports for employees.
Provide financial assistance to cover fixed operating costs at 2019 levels to eliminate deficits and avoid rates and fees increases in order to bolster airline and travel activity.
Increase Airport Capital Assistance Program funding to $95 mil annually (an industry request prior to the COVID-19 pandemic dating back more than two years).
Adjust the federal contribution limit to the ACAP to not less than 75% of eligible project costs and relax the eligibility requirement of commercial schedule passenger service for current eligible airports for 2021 through 2025, to ensure the protection and maintenance of essential infrastructure and equipment during the post-pandemic recovery period.
The Regional Community Airports of Canada is a national organization dedicated to promoting the viability of regional and community airports within the air transportation system in Canada consisting of 59 members representing over 190 airports nationwide.
Please visit our website at www.rcacc.ca for the latest in regional and community airport news.