Toronto Pearson Airport features Xovis 3D Sensors and Software to Reduce Queue Wait Times

International Market Leader for Intelligent People Flow Solutions Improves Passenger Journey at Canada’s busiest airport

CAMBRIDGE, MA (December xx, 2021) –Xovis, an international market leader for intelligent people flow solutions in airports worldwide, is excited to announce its most recent rollout at Toronto Pearson International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Canada. In August, Xovis installed its best-in-class 3D Sensors and software at Pearson’s transfer area located inside the new customs and security screening facilities for international passengers connecting onward to domestic destinations; these systems have now gone live. This is a first-of-its-kind in any Canadian airport, providing AI sensor technology used to measure waiting times, queue lengths, passenger behavior, and social distancing to keep airport passengers and employees safe and moving seamlessly.

Courtesy of Xovis

At Toronto Pearson, the Xovis Passenger Flow Management System receives data streams from the sensors and provides airport personnel with valuable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as predictive wait times for specific passenger groups, process times and passenger throughput. Xovis technology does not capture images of passengers, but rather measures the number of passengers in select areas of the airport. The KPIs are visualized on an intuitive dashboard, enabling the airport to:

Quickly identify crowded areas and bottlenecks
See what is going at any time; the intuitive and comprehensive user interface offers real-time insights on every process point
Playback the entire operation: data can be replayed simultaneously from multiple process points to identify the cause of an issue

“Our 3D Sensors have been part of the check-In area at Toronto Pearson since 2019, and we were happy the airport experienced incredible success with our technology and real-time data to expand into a whole new area,” said Cody Shulman, Managing Director, Xovis North America. “With more and more international flights resuming gradually from July onward at Toronto Pearson, we implemented the system beforehand to ensure operational readiness and to take advantage of installation without having to work around windows of arriving passengers. Xovis’ solutions help optimize the trial-and-error reconfiguration process, the utilization of space, and the real-time redeployment of personnel making for a better passenger journey.”

“The Greater Toronto Airports Authority has a vision to create the airport of the future,” says Glen Henderson, Director of Terminal Operations, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “A smoother connections process at Pearson—enabled through Xovis’ technology—is in keeping with our commitment to foster a stellar airport experience for all of our passengers; it also results in economic benefits for our communities, the province and the country at large.”

For more information about Xovis, visit http://www.xovis.com.

For more information about Toronto Pearson, visit http://www.torontopearson.com

ABOUT XOVIS

Xovis is a market- and technology-leading Swiss high-tech company that develops, produces and distributes 3D sensors and software solutions for precise counting and analysis of people flows worldwide. Xovis solutions are used to optimize passenger flows and waiting times at airports, in stationary retail and in public transport. Simple integration, data protection compliance, high precision and AI-based features characterize the technology of Xovis. The company was founded in 2008 has over 200,000 sensors installed globally and today employs around 140 people with offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Bern, Switzerland and Shanghai, China. For more information about Xovis, visit http://www.xovis.com.

ABOUT THE GREATER TORONTO AIRPORTS AUTHORITY

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport. Toronto Pearson served more than 50 million passengers in 2019, making it Canada’s busiest airport.

Moose Jaw airport had great year despite facing many challenges, board chair says

From the Moose Jaw Today – link to source story

The Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Authority is celebrating the fact that runway 31 — “the most important street in Moose Jaw” — is finished and now accepting private, public and emergency airplanes

.Jason G. Antonio | 1 December 2021

Airport authority
Jarrett Johnson, vice-chair, and Greg Simpson, board chair of the Moose Jaw Airport Authority. File photo

The Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Authority is celebrating the fact that runway 31 — “the most important street in Moose Jaw” — is finished and now accepting private, public and emergency airplanes.

“It has been a phenomenal year for the airport authority with the construction of the airport. With all the barriers we had to endure … it was a very challenging year, but we’re very proud of our board and all the people who supported us to get the project done,” board chairman Greg Simpson said.

In November 2020, the authority moved 30,000 cubic metres of soil, which helped with construction of the runway and taxiway this past spring, he told city council during its recent third-party budget meeting. 

The airport authority wants $30,000 in funding for next year, which it also received this year. 

With the extreme drought this year, the aggregate material and topsoil shrank by 30 per cent compared to the normal shrinkage of 10 per cent. However, the authority still completed construction of the hangar access road, which ensures safer access to the businesses, said Simpson.

Construction of the runway extension was completed on June 6, while asphalt milling of the existing runway helped with its rehabilitation.

“This was one of the big surprises and challenges. The engineer’s report said that the runway needed to be milled, which added significant costs, and we had to seek additional funding to get the project done,” said Simpson. 

Runway 31 was paved and finished by the fall, which allowed the first landings and take-offs to occur on Oct. 7; painting of directional lines occurred on Oct. 27. There are now 4,000 feet of matching taxiway and runway.

“This is the most important street in Moose Jaw. This really does present a gate(way) to the city,” he continued, noting Saskatchewan air ambulance has already landed several times, 15 Wing Air Base is using the runway to practice “touch and goes,” and there is increased traffic and commercial activity. 

The airport authority also completed its federally funded projects under budget, built three new hangars, held its first annual general meeting in October, and started a new flying training program.

Coming under budget “is a huge victory” since the authority faced many challenges, from financial to the pandemic to inflation to supply chain issues, said Simpson. 

The organization’s next steps include installing runway lighting, taxiway reflectors and signs; developing an airport master plan; maintaining and developing existing business relationships; and responding effectively to development opportunities for hangar space.

Also, the authority wants to foster aviation-related growth; join the City of Moose Jaw’s economic development group; grow its social media presence; and encourage more chartered flight opportunities, including northern Saskatchewan, for mining and exploration. 

“I am extremely happy that all of this has happened in the last couple of years,” said Mayor Clive Tolley, who wondered whether the airport authority had a formal relationship with 15 Wing.

The board has spoken with the base about a partnership, although there are limitations because it is a federal entity, said board vice-chair Jarrett Johnson. The base’s planes can now land at the airport, whereas they couldn’t before due to the venue’s size.

The airport has room for seven hangars, although if there were 10, the venue could generate an additional $18,000 per year, said Simpson. 

Johnson added that the authority turned a $500,000 grant into $3.7 million for the expansion. Since he is a pilot, he is also pleased with the safety the board has brought to the venue. 

“It’s exciting to be at this point of the presentations where we’ve seen the proof of the leverage of funds, and you have been successful in using them … ,” said Coun. Heather Eby. “This is just the beginning of some great and prosperous growth into our city.” 

The airport authority plans to have a grand opening in the spring.

WestJet announces schedule for new service between London Heathrow and Calgary

New route to commence in March 2022, increasing global connectivity between Western Canada and Europe

CALGARY, AB, Dec. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced route details for its new non-stop service to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), from the airline’s largest, global hub, Calgary International Airport. The new route provides access to London’s largest airport with close and rapid access to important destinations in London. Flights between the two global hubs are set to operate four-times weekly, beginning March 26, 2022 and are available to book on WestJet.com, today.

Details of WestJet’s service between Calgary and Heathrow:

RouteFrequencyStart Date
Calgary – HeathrowTuesday, Wednesday, Friday, SaturdayMarch 26 – October 28, 2022
Heathrow – CalgaryWednesday, Thursday, Saturday, SundayMarch 27 – October 29, 2022

From previous release

“As the airline with the most flights from Alberta, this is an important recovery milestone as we forge new connections between Canada and one of the world’s most sought-after global hubs,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We continue to strengthen our network, offering more options for business and leisure travellers and these investments will expedite our industry’s recovery while ensuring Western Canada builds back from the pandemic more connected than ever before.”

As confidence in business and leisure travel continues to rise, WestJet’s newest route will operate this spring on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner. WestJet’s 787 service features the airline’s Business Cabin including lie-flat pods, dining on demand and elevated Premium and Economy Cabin options.

“We are committed to the expansion of our global hub in Calgary and supporting the recovery of many sectors who rely on travel and tourism,” continued Weatherill. “As the airline with the most non-stop European destinations from YYC, we are looking forward to guests benefitting from more options and increased connectivity for travel between Canada and the UK.”

With the addition of Heathrow to WestJet’s network this spring, WestJet will connect Calgary to 77 non-stop destinations throughout the year.  WestJet will also continue to offer non-stop flights between Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax to London, Gatwick.

Additional Quotes

“WestJet is a fantastic airline with a strong history of providing top-notch service and excellent value for money, making it a great fit for Heathrow. As travel begins to reopen, we look forward to working with WestJet to improve the UK’s connectivity with Canada and give passengers even more choice when flying across the Atlantic.”

– John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO

“WestJet’s new non-stop route from YYC to London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, is welcomed by those looking to access the world’s premier financial and business centre and those eager for a direct connection to explore London’s culture and landmarks. We look forward to welcoming guests from across the pond to experience the traditional Indigenous lands and warm hospitality our region is known for.”

– Bob Sartor, President & CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority.

“Congratulations to WestJet for continuing to invest in new ways to connect Calgarians and our economy to the world. London Heathrow is a critical access point for business and leisure travellers and will be of great benefit to investors and tourists who want world class access to our region.”

– Jyoti Gondek, Mayor of Calgary

“Air access is key to our province’s economic recovery and growth of the tourism industry We look forward to welcoming back UK travellers and showcasing Alberta as a top destination.”

– David Goldstein, CEO Travel Alberta

“Having direct flight access to Heathrow, enhancing connectivity to London, a global capital market and business hub will further enhance Alberta’s competitiveness for investment and trade. This is also the latest signal to global investors of confidence in Alberta’s economy and economic recovery.  We look forward to putting these flights to good use bringing investors and business to our province who will bring with them capital and jobs for Albertans.”

– Rick Christiaanse, CEO, Invest Alberta Rick Christiaanse Invest Alberta

“WestJet’s non-stop service to the globally recognized London Heathrow Airport is great news for ensuring continued investment and talent attraction to our city as we work together to make Calgary the destination of choice for the world’s best entrepreneurs.”

– Brad Parry, Interim President & CEO, Calgary Economic Development.

About WestJet 

In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

Toys for the North takes flight

From Belleville Intelligencer – link to source story

Alex Filipe  •  30 November 2021

Members from the Canadian Armed Forces carry donated toys into the back of a RCAF airplane at 8 Wing Trenton for the Toys for the North initiative. Tuesday in Trenton, Ontario. ALEX FILIPE
Members from the Canadian Armed Forces carry donated toys into the back of a RCAF airplane at 8 Wing Trenton for the Toys for the North initiative. Tuesday in Trenton, Ontario. ALEX FILIPE jpg, BI

Members from the Canadian Armed Forces were hard at work Tuesday morning getting ready to deliver special packages destined for remote northern communities. The partnership between the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is all for the Toys for the North campaign. Hundreds of toys sat on the tarmac of 8 Wing Trenton awaiting to be packaged and put onto planes for the initiative now going on for 11 years.

“We’ve been doing this for quite some time with the RCMP,” said 8 Wing Commander Col. Ryan Deming. “What we do is we leverage some of the training flights that we have to be able to support this great initiative by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to deliver toys to many desolate, isolated posts across the north. And it’s just a great initiative in my opinion.”

The Christmas campaign first began in 2010, and each year the project has made the holidays a little brighter by distributing more than $866,000 worth of toys to children in Northern communities. Most of the toys are donated by manufacturers themselves and will benefit close to 4000 children.

“The majority of all these toys today are donated by toy manufacturers through the Canadian Toy Association,” explained Corporal Robert Buller from the RCMP and Toys for the North coordinator. “Roughly about 4000 children will benefit from the Toys for the North initiative. There’s been more than $185,000 in Toys donated by the Canadian Toy Manufacturers Association just this year.”

The project also serves as an opportunity for pilots to fly in arctic conditions, but the payload is more akin to Santa’s sleigh than a crew of trainees. As it stands, two separate flights will head out of 8 Wing Trenton, one that will head to Iqaluit and Goose Bay and the other will head towards Thunder Bay.

“We’re a globally deployable force… we have to exercise that reach across the entirety of Canada and that includes the North,” said Col. Deming. “This gives our crews the opportunity to continue to be more familiar and proficient with flying Arctic operations.”

The Toys for the North initiative is one way multiple organizations can work together to really benefit and spread holiday joy to families in more remote northern communities. For Cpl. Buller the photos he and his team members receive back from the families they impact make the effort worthwhile.

“I know that this initiative is well received in all the communities,” said Cpl. Buller. “We get pictures back every year of smiling children during this time.”

SNC-Lavalin to support Electric Aviation Group to deliver pioneering hydrogen aviation technologies

MONTREAL, Dec. 1, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – SNC-Lavalin Inc. (TSX: SNC), a fully integrated professional services and project management company with offices around the world, has entered into a strategic agreement with the UK’s Electric Aviation Group (EAG). The collaboration with Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, will accelerate the development of new, sustainable aviation technologies as EAG advances its plans for H2ERA, a zero emission, regional aircraft fueled by hybrid hydrogen-electric technology. 

SNC-Lavalin to support Electric Aviation Group to deliver pioneering hydrogen aviation technologies (CNW Group/SNC-Lavalin)
SNC-Lavalin to support Electric Aviation Group to deliver pioneering hydrogen aviation technologies (CNW Group/SNC-Lavalin)

The partnership offers EAG ready access to SNC-Lavalin’s extensive aerospace capabilities and resources as it progresses its proprietary hybrid electric and hydrogen technologies. Its H2ERA aircraft is on track to launch in 2030, making it the world’s first true zero 90-seater regional aircraft.

“The increasing international demand for air transport means the development of clean aircraft technologies is critical to driving down global carbon emissions.” said Ian L. Edwards, President and CEO of SNC-Lavalin. “Our aerospace experts are bringing decades of experience to this burgeoning market to help spearhead the pioneering technology that will deliver commercial-scale, zero emission aircraft.”

Kamran Iqbal, Founder and CEO of Electric Aviation Group, said: “EAG aims to be the market leader in developing disruptive sustainable technologies for the transportation industry with an acute focus on hydrogen powered aviation. Central to achieving this is teaming up with ‘best in class’ industrial and academic partners to co-develop the key building blocks to realize our goals. Our partnership with Atkins has secured a wealth of resources which will enable us to continue the development of our unique technology and deliver the world’s first true zero 90-seater hydrogen hybrid electric regional aircraft.”

“This exciting partnership will combine our aerospace capabilities with EAG’s cutting-edge technologies.” said Philip Hoare, President, Atkins, Engineering, Design & Project Management, SNC-Lavalin. “The development of a zero emission, large regional-scale aircraft is a crucial milestone on the path towards sustainable aviation and we are delighted to be supporting Electric Aviation Group as they commercialize their innovative solutions.”

Atkins’ Aerospace team will provide EAG with multi-layered strategic business and technical support as it commercializes its unique proprietary technology, from specialist business advisory services to safety assessments and specification, integration and certification. The partnership builds on decades of landmark aviation projects across the SNC-Lavalin Group, ranging from design and certification of major aircraft programs; global airport infrastructure design; and the development of sustainable aviation projects including electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), as well as its expanding presence in the global ecosystem of new aerospace ventures and start-ups.

About SNC-Lavalin
Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is a fully integrated professional services and project management company with offices around the world dedicated to engineering a better future for our planet and its people. We create sustainable solutions that connect people, technology and data to design, deliver and operate the most complex projects. We deploy global capabilities locally to our clients and deliver unique end-to-end services across the whole life cycle of an asset including consulting, advisory & environmental services, intelligent networks & cybersecurity, design & engineering, procurement, project & construction management, operations & maintenance, decommissioning and capital. – and delivered to clients in key strategic sectors such as Engineering Services, Nuclear, Operations & Maintenance and Capital. News and information are available at snclavalin.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Electric Aviation Group (EAG)
EAG is developing the world’s first ‘True Zero i.e., targeting zero Carbon and NOx emissions’ 90-seater hydrogen hybrid-electric regional aircraft (H2ERA). EAG aims to be the market leader in developing disruptive technologies for the transportation industry with an acute focus on Hydrogen Powered Aviation. EAG’s innovative technologies will pave the pathway for sustainable aviation and will become the blueprint for future green aircraft. More information is available at https://electricaviationgroup.com/.

Unvaccinated travellers barred from planes and trains in Canada beginning today

From The Globe and Mail – link to source story

LAURA OSMAN, OTTAWA, THE CANADIAN PRESS | 30 November 2021

Health care workers wait for airline passengers at a COVID-19 testing centre, at Trudeau Airport, in Montreal, on Feb. 19.RYAN REMIORZ/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Unvaccinated travellers over the age of 12 won’t be able to board a plane or passenger train in Canada beginning today, and a negative COVID-19 test will no longer serve as a substitute for most people.

The policy came into effect on Oct. 30, but the federal government allowed a short transition period for unvaccinated travellers who could board as long as they provided a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before their trip.

The stringent new requirement comes into effect as Canada reacts to the emergence of the new, highly mutated Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The discovery of the new variant has prompted border closures and heavier screening in Canada and abroad over fears it could prove more transmissible.

The risk related to the Omicron variant is very high, according to the World Health Organization, but there is still a lot public health officials and scientists do not know about it.

While anyone coming into Canada or boarding a plane or train inside the country must be vaccinated, there are currently no quarantine measures in place except for people who have recently transited through southern Africa.

While many airlines have so far been doing random spot checks to ensure travellers are vaccinated, Air Canada and West Jet have confirmed they will ask for proof from everyone boarding in Canada as of today.

Other measures, like masks and health screenings, will still be mandatory.

“If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you’re eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won’t be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines,” the government’s website states.

The rule does not apply to commuter trains.

The government has issued warnings on social media that even Canadians and permanent residents abroad will not be able to return home without a full slate of approved vaccines.

There are some exceptions, including valid medical exemptions, travel to remote communities only accessible by plane, and those transiting through Canada en route to another destination.

Most people who qualify for an exemption will need a recent COVID-19 test.

The vaccine mandate was met with a positive reaction from Canada’s airline industry when it was first announced in October, though some companies worried about making the necessary preparations in time.

Since then the federal government announced a standardized proof-of-vaccination document, which has been distributed by provinces and territories for domestic and international travel.

Giving Tuesday: Help Children Get Essential Medical Care By Donating Aeroplan Points

  • Aeroplan Points Matching Week for the Air Canada Foundation runs until December 5
  • Donations help provide sick children with access to specialized healthcare across Canada

“It really means the world to have your support system around you, for Israfil to be at home and have his own bed and have his own room, to be able to see his family between treatments,” said Jessica, Israfil’s mother.

MONTREAL, Nov. 30, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Your donations will go a long way in helping Jessica and her son Israfil, a two-year old boy who suffers from a rare type of cancer, and many other kids across Canada, to fly for medical appointments. This is what the Air Canada Foundation Aeroplan Points Matching Week is all about: helping children reach medical care.

“Your generosity, year after year, truly makes a difference in the lives of children and their families. With your precious contribution we’ve been able, over the last 18 months, to fly Israfil and his mother Jessica from Saskatoon to BC Children’s Hospital for his medical treatments,” said Valérie Durand, spokesperson for the Air Canada Foundation. “We are grateful to Aeroplan Members for their donations, which relieve a burden and ultimately allow parents to focus on their children during difficult times.”

Until December 5, members who donate Aeroplan points to the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program will double the impact of their contribution as the value of the points donated will be matched, up to 500,000 points, by Aeroplan. Through the generosity of Aeroplan Members, the Air Canada Foundation donates millions of Aeroplan points to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada every year to help children reach the medical care they need away from home.

“We are so grateful to the Air Canada Foundation for providing the Hospital Transportation Program for all Canadian Children’s Hospitals through our partnership with Children’s Miracle Network. This program ensures that medically complex kids, like Israfil, have the support and access to the care they need, when they need it.” agreed Allison Hepworth, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and Tanner Braaten, Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. 

“This program has been getting us to Israfil’s life-saving treatments since he was a year old. We couldn’t have done it without it. I can’t imagine if we would’ve had to drive 26 hours every time. You never think about the financial impact of childhood cancer,” said Jessica, who expressed her deep gratitude to Aeroplan donors on behalf of her son Israfil.

Since the introduction of the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program in 2003, sick children, accompanied by a parent, have been able to obtain the medical care needed away from home. Driving long hours can be strenuous for both the child and the parent, especially when several visits to the hospital are required each month or when treatments last several months. Travelling by air helps families avoid tiring hours on the road and alleviates some of the financial burden of travel expenses, which can cause serious economic and emotional hardship to families. For more information on the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program and its impact, visit www.aircanada.com/foundation.

About the Air Canada Foundation
The Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children and youth, was launched in 2012. It offers both financial and in-kind support to Canadian registered charities. Core programs include the Hospital Transportation Program, which redistributes Aeroplan points to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada, enabling sick children to access the medical care they need away from home. The Air Canada Foundation, in collaboration with the airline, also engages directly in fundraising activities, such as the Every Bit Counts program, which encourages Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge customers to donate loose change of all denominations on board flights or through collection containers available in Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. The Foundation also offers continued support to major health-related causes that benefit Canadians and is an active participant in international humanitarian relief activity as the need arises. For more information about the Air Canada Foundation, please visit www.aircanada.com/foundation or in Air Canada’s 2020 Corporate Sustainability report available at www.aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline and, in 2019, was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler’s Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

2020 State of Canada’s Aerospace Industry Report

OTTAWA (ONTARIO), November 26, 2021 – Today, the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) released their joint 2020 report on the State of Canada’s Aerospace Industry . The Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, joined AIAC President and CEO, Mike Mueller, along with industry members to discuss the future of Canadian aerospace.

The 2020 report quantifies the impacts of the pandemic on aerospace jobs and the sector’s economic activity in Canada and points to a long recovery. According to the report, the overall aerospace industry’s contribution to the Canadian economy decreased by $ 6.2B in GDP and 27,900 jobs between 2019 and 2020. Ontario was the most impacted region in terms of manufacturing employment levels.

Aerospace saw similar declines globally. On a positive note, revenue losses in Canada were mitigated compared to the global average due to the diversity of Canada’s aerospace sector including our strength in business aircraft as opposed to large aircraft which saw a much bigger drop in demand and production through 2020. Canada ranked # 2 in the world in the manufacture of business jets in 2020, consistent with 2019 rankings.

Despite the steep decline in jobs and GDP contribution, Canada remains an innovation and export leader. The report’s key findings include:

  • In 2020, the Canadian aerospace industry contributed over $ 22B in GDP and close to 207,000 jobs to the Canadian economy. (As compared to $ 28.5 Billion contribution to GDP and 235,000 jobs in 2019);
  • Aerospace manufacturing R&D intensity and share of STEM employment were 3X higher than the manufacturing average;
  • Between 2019 and 2020, the aerospace manufacturing industry’s investment in R&D was relatively stable ($ 934M R&D investment in 2020, down from $ 1.4B in 2018, and 5X higher R&D intensity than the manufacturing average in 2018).
  • Canadian aerospace maintains its position as a global leader in several segments:
    • st in civil flight simulators
    • rd in civil engines
    • th in civil aircraft
  • The Canadian aerospace manufacturing industry exported over 75% of Canadian aerospace products to 186 countries across 6 continents in 2020
    • Over 55% of aerospace exports were supply chain related;
    • Aerospace was 35% more export-intensive than the Canadian manufacturing average.

“This report is an important account of the productive partnership between our government and the aerospace industry,” said the Honorable François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “As we had recognized in Budget 2021, aerospace was one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. We will continue to support our aerospace champions every step of the way to build on Canada’s strengths, continue our global leadership, and develop new competitive advantages in the green economy of the future. ”

“We thank the government and the department for their continued collaboration and for this year’s report, which is perhaps the most important to date,” said Mike Mueller, President & CEO AIAC. “These are very sobering numbers. Job losses on this scale are felt in families and communities across the country. How we plan our aerospace recovery will set the stage and determine our competitiveness for the next 30 years. ”

“We have so much to build on,” Mueller continued. “Our companies, large and small, are major exporters and integral to global supply chains. For example, Canada’s expertise and leadership in smaller, business aircraft helped to buoy against even steeper declines seen globally; the global average was brought down by the plummet in demand and production of large aircraft. Business aircraft is a strength and competitive advantage for Canada, providing a solid foundation for recovery and jobs. ”

For more on AIAC and # AerospaceChallenge2050, please visit: www.aiac.ca     

Read the report at: State of the Canada’s Aerospace Industry – Canadian aerospace and defense industry (ic.gc.ca) 

Complaints over denied compensation for flight delays still unresolved following lengthy inquiry

From CBC News – link to source story

Canadian Transportation Agency has directed airlines to reconsider passenger requests based on new guidance

Sophia Harris · CBC News · November 25, 2021

The federal Air Passenger Protection Regulations mandate that passengers receive up to $1,000 in compensation for flights that are delayed or cancelled for reasons within an airline’s control. But since the rules took effect, a number of travellers say they were still denied compensation for reasons that were either inadequate or unfounded.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Nearly two years after launching an inquiry into thousands of complaints from airline passengers claiming they were wrongly denied compensation for delayed flights, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has issued a decision.

However, affected passengers must still wait for a resolution.

That’s because instead of attempting to resolve the complaints, the CTA has directed airlines to reconsider the passengers’ request for compensation based on new guidance the agency has provided.

The disputes stem from the federal Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) launched in 2019. The regulations mandate that passengers receive up to $1,000 in compensation for flights that are delayed or cancelled for reasons within an airline’s control, such as routine maintenance issues or overbooking.

Soon after the regulations fully took effect on Dec. 15 of that year, the CTA was flooded with more than 3,000 passenger complaints, claiming the reasons the airlines had provided for denying them compensation were either inadequate or unfounded.

On Feb. 13, 2020, the CTA launched an inquiry that focused on 567 of the complaints, involving all of Canada’s major airlines: Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, Sunwing and Swoop.

As a result of that inquiry, the CTA has now issued airlines guidance on what situations are considered within an airline’s control, involving matters such as crew shortages, computer outages and maintenance.

The CTA said passengers whose cases remain unresolved despite the new guidance can contact the agency by Feb. 15, 2022, for help in reaching a resolution. 

‘It’s disheartening’

Complainant Michael Kerr is dissatisfied with the results of the inquiry. He filed a complaint with the CTA in February 2020 after Air Canada rejected his compensation claim following an eight-hour delay on a Halifax-to-Toronto flight.

He has yet to get a resolution. 

“It’s disheartening,” said Kerr, who is from Toronto but currently living in Fargo, N.D. “It’d be nice to have some closure with it, as opposed to [the CTA] pushing it off essentially.”

Michael Kerr filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency after Air Canada denied him compensation for a delayed flight on Feb. 2, 2020. (Submitted by Michael Kerr)

Passenger rights expert Ian Jack agrees. He said he’s happy that the CTA has provided more clarity on what types of flight delays warrant compensation, however, he’s concerned over the continued delay in providing complainants with a resolution.

“People will be waiting a very long time for a decision and it’s still not resolved — and that’s very disappointing,” said Jack, a spokesperson with Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), a non-profit that serves Canadian travellers.

“At a certain point, justice delayed is justice denied.”

The CTA told CBC News in an email the inquiry was temporarily suspended during the pandemic. The agency also said the inquiry was a “complex and large-scale process” that included taking into consideration feedback from involved parties, including the airlines.

Airlines didn’t mislead passengers: CTA

According to Canada’s APPR, airlines must compensate passengers for flight delays of three hours or more.

However, airlines don’t have to pay compensation for flights that are delayed or cancelled due to uncontrollable factors, such as bad weather or mechanical problems discovered outside of routine maintenance checks. 

Before the new rules took effect, some industry experts expressed concern that airlines might try to fudge the cause of a flight delay to avoid paying compensation.

In its inquiry decision, the CTA said it found no evidence the airlines “intentionally misled passengers” when denying them compensation. However, the agency said much of the information provided to passengers about the reasons for their flight delays “was inadequate, terse and unclear.”

Inquiry launched into handling of air passenger rights regulations

Kerr said he felt entitled to compensation because during his flight delay, Air Canada crew promised passengers compensation and even passed out compensation-information pamphlets. 

But the airline later rejected Kerr’s claim, stating in an email that the plane was delayed due to a “safety-related issue.”

If Air Canada still refuses to offer him compensation following the CTA inquiry, Kerr said he plans to give up and not pursue his claim further.

“After waiting over a year and a half, I’m just kind of tired of dealing with it,” he said. 

Air Canada to pay US$4.5 million in settlement with U.S. Department of Transportation

From CTV News – link to source story

Alexandra Mae Jones, CTVNews.ca writer | Monday, November 22, 2021

Air CanadaGrounded Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP) will settle with Air Canada for US$4.5 million after filing an action against the airline for its extreme delay in providing refunds for flights to and from the United States that were cancelled or adjusted early in the pandemic.

The settlement is the highest amount that OACP has received from a single airline, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Part of the settlement is a US$2 million fine to be paid directly to the U.S. Treasury.

The complaint against Air Canada was first filed in June, and OACP was at first seeking a penalty of US$25 million. At the time of filing the action, OACP said it had received more than 6,000 complaints against Air Canada since March 2020 from consumers who had their flights changed at short notice and were denied a refund.

At the start of the pandemic, as travel restrictions changed in different countries, airlines all over the globe abruptly cancelled or changed flights in an attempt to abide by restrictions or in an attempt to deal with low ticket sales.

U.S. law states that airlines must provide refunds upon request if they significantly change a flight, and that refunds must be delivered within seven days of the request if the customer paid with credit, and 20 days if they paid with cash.

In total, the OACP stated that Air Canada had committed at least 5,100 violations, and that passengers were stuck waiting “anywhere from 5 months to 13 months to receive refunds.”

The original filing action also stated that Air Canada failed to make a good faith effort to process refunds when OACP announced that they were giving airlines more time to deal with the high volume of refund requests.

Air Canada initially stated it would be fighting the proceedings in June, saying the agency had not conducted a “well-reason analysis” of the regulations.

In the release announcing the agreement to settle, OACP stated that US$2.5 million will go towards refunding passengers who purchased a non-refundable ticket for a flight to or from the United States.

“Airlines and other sellers of airline tickets have a legal obligation to refund consumers if the airline cancels or significantly changes a consumer’s flight,” the release stated.

“OACP believes that this settlement is in the public interest, and that it serves to deter Air Canada and other carriers from committing similar violations in the future.”

With files from the Canadian Press