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From the Flight Deck

Welcome to the first issue of our re-launched newsletter. We will use this space to regularly update and share our views on industry news and related public policy developments.

We welcome your feedback, please send us any suggestions to  

Marc-André O'Rourke
Executive Director

Canada Transportation Act Review Cleared for Takeoff

On June 25, 2014, federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt launched the government's review of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA).

The NACC is encouraged by the news that a review of the competitiveness of Canada's aviation cost structure will be given specific consideration. Canada’s aviation sector creates jobs and economic activity across a wide spectrum of industries and expands markets for trade and tourism. While these benefits are significant, unfortunately the aviation sector is being hindered from achieving its full potential. The NACC believes that the CTA review is an excellent opportunity to strengthen public policy and allow the aviation sector to thrive. 

The CTA review panel will be chaired by former federal minister David Emerson who will be supported by five other experts. Former Air Canada executive Duncan Dee will serve as the aviation advisor. The NACC looks forward to actively participating in the CTA review panel’s consultations.

Ontario Budget Throws Wrench in Province's Economic Engine

The NACC continues to voice its strong opposition to the Ontario Government’s budget proposal to phase in a four-cent-per-litre increase to the province’s aviation fuel tax over the next four years. Public policy leaders and the aviation community have long been making the case for the Government of Ontario to eliminate the fuel tax on international flights to level the playing field in the province.

Instead, to increase the aviation fuel tax by 148 per cent is extremely disappointing and inconsistent with the interests of Ontarians as it will hinder job creation, economic growth, trade and the development of Ontario’s vital travel and tourism sectors. The measure punishes consumers, makes Ontario a less attractive destination to invest and expand into, and exacerbates an already large competitiveness gap with U.S. airports.

A new report by Fred Lazar of the Schulich School of Business at York University finds that increasing the aviation fuel tax in Ontario by 148 per cent will directly cost the province between 1,991 and 2,907 full-time jobs and decrease provincial GDP between $67 and $97 million over the next four years. Furthermore, between 292,700 and 407,800 air travellers will be lost.  A copy of Professor Lazar’s full report can be found here.

The NACC continues to urge the Ontario Government to pause in order to conduct a full study of the adverse economic impacts of the aviation fuel tax increase. This would include meaningful consultations with Ontario municipalities, consumer organizations, chambers of commerce, airports, tourism operators, and other affected parties before it is too late to reverse the damage to Ontario’s economy.

See our submissions to Ontario's Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

NACC Talks SMS and Dangerous Goods

On June 3, 2014, the NACC and its members appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities as part of the committee's review of the Canadian transportation safety regime.

NACC Executive Director Marc-André O'Rourke was joined by Safety Subcommittee members Sam Elfassy (Air Canada), Capt. Scott Wilson (WestJet), David Deveau (Jazz Aviation), and Capt. Jacques Mignault (Air Transat). See our submission here

NACC members discussed their experience with the implementation of safety management systems – or SMS – and the transportation of dangerous goods. SMS is internationally recognized by the safety and aviation communities as the most advanced approach to managing safety available.

The deliberate and unwavering commitment to safety is ingrained in every aspect of our member airlines' operations. 

The committee will be issuing its report and recommendations by the end of 2014. Stay tuned.

International Transport Forum's 2014 Summit

NACC Executive Director Marc-André O'Rourke joined a delegation that included federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, other international transport ministers and industry representatives as part of the Ministers' Roundtable on Expanding Airport Capacity at the International Transport Forum’s 2014 Summit on May 21, 2014 in Leipzig, Germany.

The NACC discussed the need to carefully plan airport expansion and highlighted the importance of consultation with airlines.