Category: Montreal YUL

TSB investigates fire in landing gear of Air Canada plane in Montreal

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

BY STAFF THE CANADIAN PRESS Posted February 25, 2020

An Air Canada Jazz aircraft sits at a terminal at the Ottawa airport on April 13, 2012.
 An Air Canada Jazz aircraft sits at a terminal at the Ottawa airport on April 13, 2012. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating after a suspected fire broke out in the landing gear of an Air Canada Jazz plane as it landed at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport Tuesday morning.

The agency said no injuries were reported and no emergency evacuation of the plane was required.

The Dash 8 aircraft was heading to the gate after arriving from Ottawa at about 6 a.m. when the fire was spotted in the landing gear, according to the TSB.

A spokesperson said airport firefighters were quickly able to put it out, and the plane was then towed to the gate to allow passengers to disembark.

Air Canada characterized the incident as “a failure on one of the ball bearings on one of the wheels,” which caused smoke and sparks.

“In accordance with our procedures, the pilots requested the presence of emergency vehicles as a precaution,” the company said in a statement.

The Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to the site to inspect the plane’s landing gear and speak with the crew.© 2020 The Canadian Press

TSB deploys an investigator to the Montréal Trudeau International Airport, Quebec, following an incident during the taxi phase

Provided by Transportation Safety Board/CNW

DORVAL, QC, Feb. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is deploying an investigator to the Montréal Trudeau International Airport, Quebec following an incident during the taxi phase of an Air Canada aircraft after landing. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Air Transat unveils its 2020 summer flight program for British Columbia and Alberta

Provided by Transit A. T. Inc./CNW

The airline is strengthening its position as a leader in holiday travel with an array of flight options to Europe and Mexico

MONTREAL, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat, named the 2019 World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, proudly presents its 2020 summer flight program for British Columbia and Alberta. The airline will be offering 12 direct flights a week from Vancouver to Europe and Mexico. What’s more, Air Transat will continue to optimize its flights within Canada to provide travellers in Vancouver and Calgary with even more options to visit Europe via connecting flights.

European destinations still a priority
Air Transat’s new program features three direct flights a week from Vancouver to Amsterdam (Netherlands), London (England) and Manchester (England).

Air Transat has also increased its number of flights from Vancouver to Europe with connecting flights through Toronto and Montreal to Amsterdam (Netherlands), Athens (Greece), Basel-Mulhouse (Switzerland), Barcelona (Spain), Brussels (Belgium), Bordeaux (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Lisbon (Portugal), London (England), Lyon (France), Madrid and Malaga (Spain), Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Paris (France), Porto (Portugal), Prague (Czech Republic), Rome (Italy), Toulouse (France), Venice (Italy) and Zagreb (Croatia). 

From Calgary, travellers will have access to 23 European destinations via Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal: Amsterdam (Netherlands), Athens (Greece), Basel-Mulhouse (Switzerland), Barcelona (Spain), Brussels (Belgium), Dublin (Ireland), Glasgow (Scotland), Lisbon (Portugal), London (England), Lyon (France), Madrid and Malaga (Spain), Manchester (England), Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Paris (France), Porto (Portugal), Prague (Czech Republic), Rome (Italy), Toulouse (France), Venice (Italy) and Zagreb (Croatia). 

Direct flights to explore Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Sunny destinations are a big draw, even in the summer. That’s why the airline will offer three direct flights a week from Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta.

Domestic flights to explore Canada
Each week, there will be 12 flights between Vancouver and Toronto and a daily flight between Vancouver and Montreal. From Calgary, Air Transat will fly once a week to Vancouver and four times a week to Toronto and Montreal. 

It’s worth noting that last year marked the arrival of Air Transat’s first Airbus A321neoLRs. Combining these aircraft with Air Transat’s widebody fleet gives the airline a great deal of flexibility. It means more flights to Europe and the South, in addition to connecting flights from major Canadian airports. Travellers win big, with more holiday choices and increased frequencies to their chosen destinations.

FLIGHTS FROM VANCOUVER TO EUROPE

CITY – CountryNo. of Direct FlightsNo. of Connecting Flights via Montreal and Toronto
LONDON – England315
MANCHESTER – England3
AMSTERDAM – Netherlands34
BRUSSELS – Belgium3
ZAGREB – Croatia3
PRAGUE – Czech Republic2
PARIS – France17
BORDEAUX – France1
LYON – France5
NANTES – France4
NICE – France2
MARSEILLE – France5
TOULOUSE – France5
ATHENS – Greece1
ROME – Italy12
VENICE – Italy3
LISBON – Portugal5
PORTO – Portugal6
BARCELONA – Spain4
MADRID – Spain3
MALAGA – Spain3
BASEL-MULHOUSE – Switzerland2
COPENHAGEN – Denmark1
Total9106

FLIGHTS FROM VANCOUVER TO PUERTO VALLARTA

CITY – CountryNo. of Direct Flights
PUERTO VALLARTA – Mexico3
Total3

FLIGHTS FROM CALGARY TO EUROPE

CITY – CountryNo. of Connecting Flights via Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto
LONDON – England11
MANCHESTER – England3
GLASGOW – Scotland3
AMSTERDAM – Netherlands2
BRUSSELS – Belgium2
ZAGREB – Croatia1
PRAGUE – Czech Republic2
PARIS – France13
LYON – France4
MARSEILLE – France3
NANTES – France2
NICE – France1
TOULOUSE – France3
ATHENS – Greece1
ROME – Italy7
VENICE – Italy2
LISBON – Portugal4
PORTO – Portugal3
BARCELONA – Spain2
MADRID – Spain2
MALAGA – Spain2
BASEL-MULHOUSE – Switzerland1
DUBLIN – Ireland2
Total76

FLIGHTS WITHIN CANADA

SegmentNo. of Direct Flights
Vancouver-Toronto12
Vancouver-Montreal7
Vancouver-Calgary 1
Calgary-Vancouver1
Calgary-Toronto4
Calgary-Montreal4
Total29

Scandinavia within reach: discover cool Copenhagen with Transat

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, Feb. 11, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Transat, Canada’s leader in leisure travel, will bring Scandinavia and its legendary charms closer to Canadian travellers this summer with two direct flights per week out of Montreal to Copenhagen, along with a selection of guided tours, packages and cruises that highlight Nordic splendours. There’s something for every type of traveller!

Copenhagen (credit : Martin Heiberg) (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)
Copenhagen (credit : Martin Heiberg) (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)

Surrounded by the North Sea on one side and the Baltic on the other, Scandinavia shines the brightest in summertime. From Norway’s majestic fjords to the Stockholm archipelago and the cities of Denmark, you have a range of options to plan the perfect itinerary!

Copenhagen, the jewel in Scandinavia’s crown
One of the world’s great design capitals, beautiful Copenhagen is renowned for its waterways and green spaces, and as a place where pedestrians and cyclists reign supreme.

You’ll want to take a boat ride along the canals lined with colourful houses, immerse yourself in culture at one of the royal palaces, enjoy a four-star dining experience, or explore the latest in lifestyle and sustainability trends. In addition, you’ll soak up the Nordic concept of hygge and learn first-hand why the Danes consistently top the lists of the world’s happiest people.

Copenhagen aficionados and first-timers alike will love Transat’s package which includes air travel, transfers, accommodations, and breakfasts, along with the Copenhagen Card, providing access to more than 80 top attractions so you can maximize your sightseeing in every neighbourhood of this multifaceted city.

All the must-sees in Scandinavia, with flexible options
If you’re seeking a worry-free way to experience Scandinavia, from its Viking heritage to its breathtaking sea-and-sky scenery, look no further than the Viking Route in Denmark & Sweden guided tour: 14 idyllic days in the two countries including air travel, transfers, accommodations, coach and ferry transport, and the services of an experienced guide. All the highlights of this stunning destination are covered, from a stroll through the cobblestoned streets of Ribe’s old town to tours of the royal castles of Koldinghus and Frederiksborg, plus all of Copenhagen’s must-visit spots, of course. The rich heritage of the former Danish capital, Roskilde, is another high point, starting with the Viking Ship Museum, home to more than 1,000 years of history, and the medieval cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the final resting place of many Danish kings and queens. On the way to Gothenburg and Helsingborg, in Sweden, travellers can spot seals in their natural habitat during a scenic cruise in the Kattegat Strait, and admire the wild beaches along the Jutland peninsula. In short, it’s the best of marine, city and country life all in one tour.

Transat is also offering two multi-city packages lasting 9 or 11 days. Each features 3 destinations and zero hassles for travellers: they’ll be free to explore the essentials of Scandinavia at their own pace, but with no worries when it comes to planning, since their itinerary, transportation and accommodations are all taken care of.

The first package, Denmark’s Highlights, focuses on Denmark’s cultural heritage with a stop at the sublime ARoS modern art museum in Aarhus, and a chance to follow in the footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen in the town of Odense, the Little Mermaid author’s picturesque birthplace. Feeling more ambitious? You’ll want to choose the second package, Capitals of the North, which lines up an enchanting trio of urban expeditions. You can explore the Oslo fjord by kayak, marvel at the underground art gallery of Stockholm’s subway, and indulge in Nordic cuisine at Copenhagen’s hippest wine bars… all on the same trip!

Ever the leader in European vacations, Transat also has a wide range of accommodations and car rental options for travellers who would rather explore Scandinavia at their leisure.

Group cruises
Groups of 10 passengers or more will love the cruise offering from Transat and its exclusive partners, with four packages exploring Baltic and Scandinavian coastal attractions to choose from, all sailing from Copenhagen.

Russia’s glorious palaces, the little-known historic centres of Estonia, the magnificent natural features of Norway’s coast, the cosmopolitan German cities, and the architectural marvels of Finland are just a few of the many sights that are sure to dazzle travellers.

With Air Transat, Europe is more accessible than ever
Air Transat, named the World’s Best Leisure Airline in 2019, is proud to be the only carrier to offer nonstop service between Montreal and Copenhagen, with two weekly flights per week from June 16 to September 20, 2020. The destination is also accessible to Canadian travellers from Toronto and Vancouver via Montreal.

Passengers will fly on the Airbus A321neoLR, a next-generation aircraft recently added to the Air Transat fleet that delivers an improved inflight experience, including the spacious Club Class and gourmet dining, and the lowest fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (CO2 and NOx) emissions in its class.

Canada allowed grounded Boeing 737 Max jets to fly — without passengers — at least 160 times

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

WATCH: Link to video

Airlines can get permission to fly if ‘very strict conditions’ met

Ashley Burke · CBC News · Posted: Feb 03, 2020

Canada grounded Boeing 737 Max planes in March following 2 deadly crashes. Transport Canada is making exceptions for ferry flights for maintenance, storage or training purposes. None of these flights are allowed to carry passengers. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Canada has allowed at least 160 flights to criss-cross North America using Boeing 737 Max jets since grounding the fleet for commercial use almost a year ago. 

Transport Minister Marc Garneau banned the planes from Canada’s airspace in March after two crashes within five months in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people, including 18 Canadians. Satellite data showed both planes experienced significant flight control problems. Garneau said he won’t lift restrictions on the planes until all of Canada’s safety concerns have been addressed. 

CBC News analyzed flight data that shows Canadian airlines have continued to fly the jets for the past 11 months, often multiple times a week. The flights include four hours in the air over Canada from Windsor to Vancouver and shorter hauls such as Montreal to Trois-Rivières, Que., and Abbotsford, B.C., to Calgary.

Transport Canada said no passengers were on board any of the flights. The department said it has been allowing Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing to fly the planes for maintenance, storage, or pilot training under certain conditions. Only certain pilots with specialized training and briefings of the 737 Max are allowed to operate the aircraft.

The flights came as a shock to some families in Canada whose loved ones died on a 737 Max.

“It feels like a slap in the face,” said Chris Moore who lost his 24-year-old daughter in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. “Your loved one has died due to that plane and they’re still gearing up for the day when it’s ungrounded.”

Paul Njoroge, who lost his wife, 3 children and mother-in-law on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. (Njoroge family)

Paul Njoroge lost his wife, three young children, and mother-in-law in that same crash. He’s also concerned for the safety of the pilots in the air and Canadians on the ground.

“It’s shocking to me that they are still flying,” said Njoroge. “It just tells me that these people will never stop playing or juggling with human life.” 

“You cannot say it’s not safe for passengers, but still allow the plane to fly. If you’ve grounded the plane, it has to remain grounded.”

‘Ferry flights’ exempted

When Garneau banned the jets on March 13, the notice to airmen stated it was “necessary for the protection of aviation safety and the public.” But the notice also made exemptions for “ferry flights” that take off or land in Canada. 

CBC News pulled data from flight tracking website FlightRadar24 to see where Canadian 737 Max planes have been spotted in the skies since grounded.

An analysis reveals that Air Canada has been flying its Boeing 737 Max fleet the most often. Between March 14 and Jan. 16, Air Canada flew 121 times, in comparison to 29 times for WestJet and 12 for Sunwing.

In at least 27 instances, Air Canada took off or landed in Marana, Ariz. In some cases, flying more than five hours straight.

“Those aircraft movements were required for maintenance purposes, including to relocate them to the southern desert where they can be stored more safely,” said Air Canada in a statement to CBC News. 

Air Canada also said it’s using the ferry flights as an opportunity to keep pilot certifications current for those who train frontline pilots.

Watch

Flight data shows 160 Boeing 737 Max flights

  • 20 hours ago
  • 0:18

737 Max aircraft flew across Canada and the U.S. 0:18

WestJet said its ferry flights were for maintenance and storage space. Sunwing said it proactively grounded its fleet before Canada made it mandatory. Since then, the airline confirmed it moved several 737 Max aircraft from large, busy airports to outside storage facilities. 

“We approach these necessary transfers with an abundance of caution, conducting thorough risk assessments and only using senior pilots who were briefed on responses to any potential anomalies. All these flights operated without incident,” said Sunwing in a statement. 

Flights must be approved, follow ‘very strict conditions’

Transport Canada said in order for ferry flights to be approved, airlines must follow “very strict conditions”: 

  • Only advanced pilot evaluators are allowed to fly.
  • Pilots must get specialized briefings and training including on a 737 Max simulator.
  • Additional crew is on board all flights and a mandatory third pilot.
  • They can only fly in certain weather conditions.

Larry Vance, former Transportation Safety Board aviation crash investigator, said he has no concerns with the 737 Max flying under this criteria.

“These are not flying bombs about to explode,” said Vance. “They’re not gonna start dropping out of the sky on people. These are very safe airplanes flown under those conditions. 

“They’re only flown by the best of the pilots with briefings. Anything that might go wrong with the airplane they know how to handle it.”

Vance added that planes are like cars — if left idle they deteriorate, and need to be in the air to stay in top shape.

Victims’ families meeting with transport minister

That doesn’t comfort Moore and Njoroge, who question why the planes can’t be restored for service if and when Canada declares them safe for passengers. 

“That tells you a lot about the regulatory authorities promoting the industry instead of promoting safety, instead of safeguarding the lives of human beings.” said Njoroge.

“I don’t understand why they would use that as an excuse to fly,” said Moore.

Families of the Ethiopian Airlines crash victims say they are meeting with Garneau on Feb.12. Njoroge plans on asking Garneau to keep the planes on the ground — no exemptions.

Canada is continuing to independently review and validate changes to the Boeing 737 Max.

Transport Canada has four areas of concern that it wants addressed before the fleet can return to service including: acceptable levels of pilot workload, architecture of the flight controls, minimum training required for crew members, and aircraft performance, according to Garneau’s briefing binder obtained through an access to information request. 

“I certainly understand how the families feel,” Garneau said today, commenting on the story before entering the Commons chamber.

“We look at every single one of these ferry flights very carefully, where it’s going to go and who’s going to be on board and what training and preparation they’ve had before we accept and doing it.”

“I want to tell everybody that we’re not going to put these planes back into Canadian skies to fly passengers until we’re 100 per cent satisfied.

Air Transat ordered to reimburse tardy passenger who was barred from flight A judge ordered Air Transat to pay 75 per cent of the cost of a passenger's ticket after she wasn't allowed to board her flight when she arrived late.

News provided by the Vancouver Sun – link to full story and updates

A judge ordered Air Transat to pay 75 per cent of the cost of a passenger’s ticket after she wasn’t allowed to board her flight when she arrived late.

PRESSE CANADIENNE January 29, 2020

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 1, 2018, Air Transat jets prepare to take off at at MontréalPierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Canada. – Canada’s flagship airline Air Canada announced on June 27, 2019, it has reached a deal to buy tour operator Transat for Can$520 million (US$396 million) in cash or Can$13 per share. The deal unanimously supported by Transat’s board still requires regulatory and shareholder approvals. It comes after 30-day exclusive negotiations between the two carriers. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP)

A judge has ordered Air Transat to pay damages to a passenger who wasn’t allowed to board her flight because the airline decided she had arrived at the boarding gate too late.

Court of Quebec Judge Luc Hervé Thibaudeau ruled in small claims court that the airline hadn’t fulfilled its obligations toward the passenger, who was flying to Guadeloupe, and had failed in its duty to co-operate.

Air Transat flies direct from Montreal to the group of islands in the Caribbean.

On Dec. 24, 2017, Cora Abraham arrived at the airport around 6 a.m. for a 7:50 a.m. flight to Guadeloupe. 

She attempted to check in at the terminals without success. An agent wasn’t able to check her in, either. Abraham then had to stand in line for 40 minutes before reaching the check-in counter. However, the agents didn’t immediately find her reservation.

Finally, an hour before takeoff, her boarding pass was issued and she was assigned a seat.

Still, at airport customs, Abraham had to stand in line again.

When she arrived at the gate, she was refused boarding and her baggage was returned.

Abraham testified that she saw the passageway to the plane and saw the plane had not yet left the platform.

Since she had to attend a funeral, she purchased another plane ticket for another flight for about $675. She went to court to claim the $675 as well as other fees.

Air Transat argued that passengers taking international flights are informed they should arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight.

Abraham acknowledged the information was given to her, but argued it took longer to get to the airport that day because of poor road conditions due to the weather.

According to airline policy, it’s up to a plane’s captain to decide whether to allow a tardy passenger to board.

An airline requires a serious motive to refuse to transport a passenger to their destination, the judge said in his ruling, which was dated Jan. 3. At the same time, a passenger is required to follow the instructions of the airline, he said.

Thibaudeau ruled that Abraham checked in on time, and noted that part of her delay was caused by the agents who were unable to find her reservation.

As well, Air Transat made no attempt to inform the flight crew or the boarding agents that the passenger was on her way to the gate, the judge wrote. “By refusing her access to the plane a few minutes later, (Air) Transat failed in its own commitments.”

However, the passenger was partly responsible for her troubles because she didn’t take the necessary steps to arrive at the airport earlier, Thibaudeau said in the ruling.

The judge assigned Abraham 25 per cent of the responsibility. The airline was ordered to reimburse 75 per cent of the cost of her plane ticket.

Swissport reaches tentative deal with striking airport refuellers

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

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS January 29, 2020

Swissport employees protest near Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
 Swissport employees protest near Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

A tentative deal has been reached for a collective agreement between airport refuellers and Swissport amid a strike that has been underway for nearly a month.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union representing the workers, confirmed the information on Wednesday.

The tentative agreement was reached in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a mediation session involving the employer and the union on Tuesday.

This is the second agreement in principle after the first tentative deal reached in December was rejected by 90 per cent of the unionized workers.

The main sticking points are compensation and work-life balance. The workers — who include refuelling personnel, machinists, dispatchers, mechanics and maintenance workers — have been without a contract since last August.

— With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise

© 2020 The Canadian Press

Air Canada Suspends Flights to Beijing, Shanghai

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

MONTREAL, Jan. 29, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada said today that following the Government of Canada’s Advisory to avoid non-essential travel to mainland China it is temporarily suspending all direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai effective January 30, 2020 until February 29, 2020.

Air Canada’s last flights departing Canada will operate today and the return flights will operate from Beijing and Shanghai tomorrow, January 30, 2020. Affected customers will be notified and offered options, including travel on other carriers where available, or a full refund. Air Canada regrets this situation and apologizes for the serious disruption to our customers’ travel plans.  

Air Canada will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada and Global Affairs and will adjust its schedule as appropriate.

Air Canada currently operates direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

YUL Let's Talk

Provided by Aéroports de Montréal/CNW

MONTRÉAL, Jan. 28, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – For the first time, the Bell Let’s Talk logo is being displayed on the façade of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport.

Through this initiative, ADM Aéroports de Montréal is aiming to provide a higher visibility to mental health and promote community action and awareness about this issue.

For the first time, the Bell Let’s Talk logo is being displayed on the façade of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. By doing so, ADM Aéroports de Montréal aims to provide high visibility to mental health and promote community action and awareness about this issue. (CNW Group/Aéroports de Montréal)
For the first time, the Bell Let’s Talk logo is being displayed on the façade of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. By doing so, ADM Aéroports de Montréal aims to provide high visibility to mental health and promote community action and awareness about this issue. (CNW Group/Aéroports de Montréal)

“Mental health is an aspect of individual well-being that is often overlooked, but deserves our full attention. When we were given an opportunity to get involved in this cause, we saw it as a small gesture that will help support this important campaign,” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal.

“We thank ADM Aéroports de Montréal for taking action to support Canadian mental health with this creative and high-profile acknowledgment of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The theme of this year’s campaign is Mental Health: Every Action Counts, and we hope everyone travelling through Montréal-Trudeau International Airport will be inspired to undertake their own actions help create positive change for people living with mental illness.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 29
ADM Aéroports de Montréal joins Bell in inviting everyone to take part in the mental health conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day. Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these communications on January 29, at no extra cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service providers for online or phone access:

  • Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
  • Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
  • Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Twitter.com/Bell_LetsTalk
  • Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
  • Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at Instagram.com/Bell_LetsTalk
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
  • YouTube: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at YouTube.com/BellCanada

Runway incursion by snowplow proceeding through holding position onto active runway

Provided by Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB)

Dorval, Quebec, 21 January 2020 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A19Q0015) today on an incident in which four snow-removal vehicles entered an active runway at Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport as an aircraft was preparing to land.

On 2 February 2019, snow-removal operations were being conducted at the airport. A convoy of 7 vehicles was instructed to proceed from Runway 24R to holding bay 24L. At the same time, a Bombardier CRJ 200 operated by SkyWest Airlines was flying the instrument landing system approach and had been cleared to land on Runway 24L. A runway incursion occurred at 11:19:04 Eastern Standard Time, when the lead vehicle in the convoy, a snowplow-sweeper, crossed the runway holding position and continued onto the runway. The flight crew initiated a go-around, flying over the lead vehicle in the convoy, which had been followed by three additional snowplow-sweepers. The aircraft landed safely about 15 minutes later. The convoy subsequently regrouped and completed the snow-removal operations. There were no injuries or damage.

The TSB has identified a series of causes and contributing factors in this runway incursion. The investigation found that the convoy lead, focused on the tasks of driving, snow removal, and planning the next snow-removal pass, missed the runway holding position lighting, signage, and markings, forgot about the requirement to hold short, and proceeded onto Runway 24L. Three other vehicles in the convoy followed the lead vehicle and passed the runway holding position, which increased the severity of the incursion. The ground controller on duty was multitasking and conducting an operational phone call, which led to a breakdown of his scanning and monitoring, delayed his response, and increased the incursion’s severity.

The investigation also found that if vehicle operator training does not include runway incursion scenarios, convoy operators may not be sufficiently prepared to take necessary safety actions to reduce the associated risks. Further, air traffic control instructions that direct ground vehicles to runways and do not contain explicit instruction to hold short of an active runway can increase the potential for misunderstanding, and increase the risk of an incursion. 

Following the occurrence, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) held meetings to raise awareness  of runway incursions, and to obtain employee feedback on the occurrence. An internal investigation within the ADM safety management system was conducted, including brainstorming/mapping and a risk analysis of the event. ADM modified procedures and employee training, and has added the issue of runway incursions to the agenda for its next meeting with NAV CANADA’s Runway Safety Action Team.

See the investigation page for more information.