Lakelad

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  1. Pearson airport suffers another close call on a runway Safety officials are assessing yet another runway incursion at Pearson, similar to a rash of incidents which has already spurred a review of operations at the busy airport. Tues., Aug. 15, 2017 - Toronto Star By Bruce Campion-Smith - Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA—A U.S. regional jet, same runways at Pearson — and a quick radio warning from an air traffic controller to prevent a close call. Safety officials are probing yet another runway incursion that happened Monday at Canada’s busiest airport, a virtual carbon copy of past incidents that have spurred a review of runway operations by the Transportation Safety Board. “Again, very similar to the other incursions,” Ewan Tasker, the safety board’s regional manager for air investigations, said Tuesday. In Monday’s incident, an Embraer 175 regional jet operated by Republic Airline, had landed on runway 24 left about 6:35 p.m. after a flight from Newark, N.J. The jet exited on to a taxiway at the end of the runway and a tower controller gave the pilots instructions to hold short of a parallel runway. An Air Canada Boeing 787 bound for Zurich was cleared for departure on that parallel runway and began its take-off roll. But as has happened many times before, the controller, concerned that the jet was going a “little fast” and wasn’t going to stop as instructed, issued fresh instructions, Tasker said. “Brickyard 3553, please stop there,” the controller said, using the airline’s call sign, according to a recording on the website liveatc.net. The jet stopped but just past the hold short line that marks the boundary to the protected runway environment. At the time, the Air Canada jet was halfway down the parallel runway, accelerating quickly for take-off, Tasker said. Even if the regional jet entered the parallel runway, the Air Canada flight was safely airborne by that point, he said. But Tasker said this latest event drives home the concerns around a recent rash of incursions involving the two parallel runways on the airport’s south side that has prompted the safety board to launch a special review of operations. During busy periods, aircraft land on the outer runway and then taxi across the inner runway to reach the terminal buildings. But in almost two dozen occasions in recent years, aircraft have failed to stop as instructed on a taxiway. “The direct risk of collision on this individual event again, not extremely high, but change the circumstances a bit and that severity changes significantly,” Tasker said. The review is looking at a host of factors — pilot and controller procedures, human factors, airport design — to find ways to minimize the high rate of incursions. 'One common factor — underscored by Monday’s incident — is that U.S. regional airlines are overwhelmingly involved in the majority of the incursions.' .
  2. OMG NO FOOD (⸮)

    . Air Transat blames 'factors beyond our control' for stranded Ottawa passenger saga Other planes that arrived later given permission to refuel first, airline claims Wed Aug 09, 2017. - CBC News By Trevor Pritchard The airline that left passengers stranded on the Ottawa airport's runway for hours last week says it tried its best to get them back in the air — but workers failed to give its two planes proper refueling priority. Air Transat is blaming "a confluence of factors beyond our control" for the lengthy delay of international Flights 157 and 507, both of which were diverted to the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport on July 31 due to bad weather in Montreal. The airline's defence is found in the legal response it filed last Friday to the Canadian Transportation Agency, which has announced it will hold an inquiry into what went wrong that night. The agency made Air Transat's response public Wednesday afternoon. Hundreds of passengers were prevented from leaving the two planes after they touched down at around 5 p.m. in Ottawa last Monday. One passenger, Laura Mah, told CBC News that food was being rationed, the cabin temperature was steadily rising, and people were being given almost no information about what was going on. The situation became so desperate that at least two passengers called 911. Air Transat's timeline Air Transat's legal filing contains the airline's own timeline of the events that transpired that day, starting at around 4 p.m. ET when crews were told that passing storms had closed the Montreal airport. The two planes assumed a "standard holding pattern," and were at one point mistakenly told that the Montreal airport had reopened, before touching down in Ottawa an hour later. Both planes were then told to park on one of the airport's runways. At that time, about 20 to 30 other aircraft had already been diverted to Ottawa's airport, Air Transat said. The two planes shut down their main engines and switched to auxiliary power units to keep the lights on and onboard ventilation systems in operation. However, the high temperatures, plus the number of passengers on board, meant temperatures steadily rose to above 23 C, Air Transat said. Crews tried to get permission to refuel while on the runway, the airline said, but their requests were turned down. There was also a "critically-high demand" for air stairs, which could have allowed passengers to leave the plane, and ground power units, which could have kept the plane cool, the airline said. "In total, both aircraft held on the runway with no ground support whatsoever for approximately 90 minutes," said Air Transat. "Deplaning in the above circumstances was therefore a physical impossibility." Other planes jumped the queue More than two hours after the planes arrived at the airport, Air Transat crews were told that refueling would soon be underway — but according to the airline, the delays continued. While they waited, other planes that had landed before Flights 157 and 507 touched down had refueled and taken off, said Air Transat. Eventually, Flight 157 ran out of fuel and its auxiliary power units shut down. Soon afterwards, one passenger called 911, Air Transat said. It was only then, said the airline, that air stairs were hooked up so that emergency crews could get in to the cabin. At around 9 p.m., four hours after the two planes touched down — and "after practically all other diverted flights had been refueled" — the two planes finally got their fuel, the airline said. Flight 507 was then able to take off, but "fuel starvation" caused problems with Flight 157's onboard systems. It wasn't until six hours after it landed that 157 was able to go "wheels up," Air Transat said. "Per the above, Air Transat submits that a confluence of factors beyond our control led directly to our inability to minimize the weather-related diversion delays of the affected flights, deplane passengers from stranded aircraft and provide minimal levels of comfort to our passengers onboard," the airline concluded in its response. 'Air Transat staff were also "uncommunicative" that night, the authority said in its initial statement.' .
  3. Yes, however the Canadian Transportation Agency is not a company, Given the litigious nature of Mr Lukacs we may find out if the same level of arbitrary discretion applies to government entities as well. Personal information that is a matter of public record open to lawsuits?
  4. . Yeah, a lot of it going around... Transportation agency accused of censorship after deleting online criticism 'This is a form of censorship ... and this is a violation of freedom of speech,' says air passenger advocate Tue Aug 08, 2017 - CBC News By Yvonne Colbert The Canadian Transportation Agency and an air passenger rights activist are engaged in an online battle that pits freedom of expression against a government agency's right to delete negative comments from its social media accounts. Gabor Lukacs has won 24 of 27 court cases against airlines, which were taken to the agency. Recently, he posted "5 Reasons not to Trust the Canadian Transportation Agency" on the agency's Facebook page. The post compares the number of air passenger complaints in recent years to the dwindling number of enforcement actions against airlines. It also names some agency employees, including Doug Smith, its chief dispute officer. The post includes a discipline history of Smith from the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2004, when he was suspended from practising law. Smith told CBC News that Lukacs is entitled to put whatever he wants on his own page. He doesn't dispute the information, but said he's unsure how that action years ago is relevant to his current job or a reason not to trust the agency. Social media guidelines Lukacs subsequently received messages that were purportedly from the agency's social media co-ordinator — though no name was given. They said, in part, that: "The agency is committed to an open and transparent dialogue with Canadians and welcomes a variety of perspectives and opinions." However, it also said its social media guidelines specify that it may remove comments that contain personal information or put forward serious, unproven or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations. The agency accused the Halifax man of directly targeting a number of employees with statements that bring their integrity into question. It told him if the posts continued, the agency would block his ability to comment on both its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Lukacs wrote back and asked what specifically was unproven or inaccurate, but did not receive a response. CBC News asked the same question, but the agency did not provide details. 'Orwellian' censorship, says Lukacs .
  5. Air Canada Soars to record profit

    . There's a good reason to keep one's seat belt buckled at all times.... Airline investors, enjoy the ride while it lasts Tue Aug 01, 2017 - The Globe and Mail Ian McGugan The lucky person who ignored pervasive pessimism and invested in Air Canada in late 2012 would have seen his or her money grow more than tenfold. For that matter, the lucky person who invested in Air Canada on Monday, just before the airline reported second-quarter results, would have seen his or her money grow nearly 10 per cent on Tuesday, after the company's profit blasted through expectations. The carrier's eye-popping gains are an extreme example of the euphoria that has invigorated the airline sector over the past couple of years and propelled several U.S. and European carriers to multiples of their old values. At this point, though, investors may want to think twice about embracing the euphoria. The airline industry, despite its recent run of success, still appears as ferociously cyclical as it has always been. Air Canada demonstrates just how fickle the business can be. The carrier's gains this week take its stock back only slightly beyond the $21 a share it went public at in 2006. For investors, the past 11 years have been one long round trip. Meanwhile, the industry's current stresses are apparent to anyone who follows the news. Put it this way: Investors are often told to buy companies they love as a consumer. Anyone who invests in airline stocks today is loading up on a sector that consumers loathe. Between dragging some passengers off planes and slugging others in the face, while imposing new fees for everything from sandwiches to luggage, airlines appear to be engaged in a global competition to brutalize their paying customers. The most positive way for an investor to view these incidents is as a gauge of just how much power airlines now have to impose their wills. Widespread consolidation in many parts of the world has reduced competition on many routes and diminished the incentive for treating passengers well. It's also prevented the breakneck rush to expand capacity that used to regularly destroy the industry's profits. But can that happy situation – at least from the airlines' perspective – continue forever? It's hard to see how. At some point, higher profits inevitably attract more competition. Heck, at some point, customers may even want an airline experience that doesn't leave bruises. For now, airlines are attempting to ease back on mutually destructive rivalries by weaving more and more complicated webs of alliances. A shining example of the industry's byzantine new architecture was unveiled just a week ago when Air France-KLM bought a 31-per-cent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways in a sprawling deal that also involved Delta Air Lines Inc. and China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. each acquiring a 10-per-cent stake in Air-France-KLM. According to the airlines, the goal of this massive new spaghetti pile of inter-corporate tie-ins was to create "the most comprehensive transatlantic route network" in the world. That's a fine-sounding ambition. But the impetus for the deal is also a need to deal with the rise of low-cost rivals, such as Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA and Canada's own WestJet Airlines Ltd. Like it or not, the industry can't tamp down competition forever. Neither can it perpetually sidestep other realities. The classic criticism of the airline industry is that it's a capital-intensive, heavily unionized and highly leveraged business. The industry's extensive web of alliances can go only so far in masking those unfortunate features. WestJet, for instance, is just beginning to grapple with the impact of its pilots' recent decision to join a union. The airline expects to begin negotiating its first collective agreement with the pilots in September, a move that is likely to raise the carrier's labour costs. Looking further out, rising interest rates aren't good news for airlines, which typically carry large amounts of debt because of their need to finance expensive fleets of planes. Investors should be cautious. Many analysts are pointing out how cheap Air Canada's share price looks in comparison to its earnings. They're right. But if you want to take a flyer on its shares, or on those of any airline, be prepared for some turbulence ahead. .
  6. OMG NO FOOD (⸮)

    . You reap what you sow.... After Air Transat saga, passenger bill of rights aims to punish airlines into being good 'We're going to make sure that it's not worth your while ... to treat people this way' Tue Aug 01, 2017 - CBC News A new air passenger bill of rights would punish airlines for keeping people on the tarmac longer than three hours, forcing them to compensate passengers. But it would not compel carriers to disembark a plane delayed for long periods. The bill is being crafted to instead deter airlines from treating people poorly by imposing strict punishments, according to Karen McCrimmon, parliamentary secretary to Transport Minister Marc Garneau. Her remarks come a day after an Air Transat flight from Brussels was kept on the tarmac for six hours, before an exasperated passenger finally called 911. The flight had been scheduled to arrive in Montreal but was diverted to Ottawa because of bad weather. Passengers spent a total of about 15 hours aboard the plane. Ottawa airport July 31 2017 Air Transat flight delayed emergency crews "I don't think it will give the actual power for anybody to intervene in this situation, in that piece of legislation," McCrimmon said. "We're going to make sure that it's not worth your while … to treat people this way." But the NDP's industry critic, Brian Masse, notes that while "significant penalties" are important, the regulations should also include "allowing travellers to disembark and regular airport crew checks." The Commons transport committee voted in June to return a week before Parliament resumes to study the passenger bill of rights, Bill C-49, and give it an early push, McCrimmon said. That committee usually only sits four hours a week, she said, but by returning early, it can sit longer and get two months of work done in about four days. Garneau introduced Bill C-49 in May, with hope of having a passenger-protection regime in place by 2018. The bill would set standards across the country for how air passengers are treated in situations within an airline's control. The moves are part of a larger package of changes Garneau introduced to modernize Canada's transportation laws to make them more efficient. Similar legislation has been in place in the U.S. since 2002 and in Europe since 2005. "It's time for the government to act instead of just lamenting these awful situations after they occur," .
  7. . U.S.-bound travellers to face 'enhanced security measures' at all Canadian airports Homeland Security says terrorists are pursuing new attack methods targeting commercial aviation Wed Jul 18, 2017 - CBC News Airline passengers travelling from Canada to the United States will face a new battery of "enhanced security measures" now required by the Department of Homeland Security. The new measures will be enforced starting July 19 and include: Enhanced overall passenger screening. Heightened screening of personal electronic devices. Increased security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas. The use of advanced technology, expanded canine screening and the establishment of additional pre-clearance locations. WestJet and Air Canada are advising passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure to accommodate the enhanced screening process. All electronic devices larger than a smartphone will have to be removed from protective casing and fully charged for potential inspection. U.S. cites terrorism concerns "The United States and the global aviation community face an adaptive and agile enemy," says Homeland Security in a statement on its website announcing the changes. "Terrorist groups continue to target passenger aircraft, and we have seen a 'spider web' of threats to commercial aviation as terrorists pursue new attack methods," it says. In addition to the more thorough screening process, Homeland Security is also implementing "heightened security standards" for airports and aircraft. The new measures will be required at approximately 280 airports around the world that offer flights to the United States. Homeland Security says it may introduce additional security restrictions on any stakeholders who do not fully implement the changes. .
  8. . Judge rejects request to freeze Omar Khadr's assets Request came from widow of American soldier killed in Afghanistan Thu Jul 13, 2017 - CBC News A judge in Toronto has dismissed a request to freeze Omar Khadr's assets. The request for an injunction came from the widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan. The widow, Tabitha Speer, will be asking a Canadian court to enforce a $134-million US wrongful-death judgment against Khadr handed down in Utah. The judge hearing today's case had said the request to freeze Khadr's assets pending a trial was "extraordinary." Speer's husband, U.S. Sgt. Chris Speer, was killed in Afghanistan in July 2002. Khadr admitted to throwing the killer grenade, but later recanted, saying it was only so he could get away from American custody in Guantanamo Bay. .
  9. . Canada failed Omar Khadr. We owed him compensation and an apology Sat Jul 08, 2017 - The Globe and Mail Romeo Dallaire and Alex Neve Lieutenant-General (retired) Roméo Dallaire is the founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. Alex Neve is secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada. It is close to 15 years since the July 27, 2002, firefight in Afghanistan that killed a U.S. soldier, injured another, and left 15-year-old Canadian citizen Omar Khadr badly wounded and near death. And thus began an agonizing and Kafkaesque years-long journey of injustice, suffering and abandonment for a teenager who was a child soldier and should never have been pushed into the middle of a war in the first place. There is much blame to go around for the harm and wrongs done to Mr. Khadr. Clearly his father should never have put him in this situation in the first place. Undeniably, U.S. officials bear the bulk of responsibility for the endless human rights violations he endured – including torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and an unfair trial – in both the notorious Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention centre. But there is more. Canada is part of Mr. Khadr’s story, very much part of that story. And it is by no means a source of pride. 'Canada was punitive, mean and vindictive.' .
  10. Kathleen Wynne

    . $1B worth of energy wasted last year: engineers Thu Jun 29, 2017 - Toronto Sun By Shawn Jeffords Ontario wasted $1 billion worth of clean electricity in 2016, according to the province’s professional engineers. The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, a non-partisan body, which represents the province’s engineers, says it has crunched government hydro numbers from 2016 and they show that 7.6 terawatt-hours of clean hydro went down the drain that year. That’s equal to the amount required to power 760,000 homes - or $1 billion worth of electricity - said the group’s past president Paul Acchione. “This represents a 58% increase in the amount of clean electricity that Ontario wasted in 2015 which was 4.8 terawatt hours,” he said. “All while the province continues to export more than two-million homes’ worth of electricity to neighbouring jurisdictions for a price less than it costs to produce.” Acchione said the province is wasting the power through a practice called “curtailment.” It means that when the province’s hydro generators produce power consumers don’t need, and it can’t be exported, they have to dump it. “It’s when we tell our dams to let the water spill over the top, our nuclear generators to release steam to their condensers and our wind turbines not to turn even when it’s windy,” he said. “The numbers...show that Ontario’s cleanest source of power is literally going down the drain because we’re producing too much of it.” “The first thing that they need to do is stop having politicians design our energy and our electrical system and allow experts to provide their input,” .
  11. . B.C. judge sets aside dismissal of Air Canada employee fired for stealing nuts and lotion Tue Jun 27, 2017 - Vancouver Sun by Keith Fraser A judge has set aside the dismissal of an Air Canada employee who was fired for stealing some nuts and hand lotion from an aircraft in Vancouver. “What are discarded nuts and hand lotion left behind by a first-class passenger on an Air Canada flight worth?” asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies in his ruling on the case. “For Neena Cheema, an employee with Air Canada, they were worth the job she had worked at for 17 years.” The incident that resulted in Cheema’s termination occurred on Feb. 10, 2016, while she was employed by the airline as a cabin service and cleaning attendant at Vancouver International Airport. She found and picked up four unopened packages of almonds and a tube of unused hand lotion that had been left behind by a passenger in the first-class section of an aircraft that had arrived at the airport. She put the items in her jacket pocket but did not, as she said she intended to do, put them on the galley counter so that catering workers could determine whether the discarded items could be used again, according to the judge’s summary of the incident. When she went into the airline’s human resources office to inquire about vacation dates, she reached into her pocket to see what time it was and found the items. She put them on the desk of the human resources employee and told her: “Here are some nuts and lotion for you.” The human resources employee claimed Cheema also said to her: “I appreciate any help you can do.” Air Canada investigated the incident and fired her. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 140, the union which represents Cheema, filed a grievance of the termination. An arbitrator concluded that Cheema had committed theft and had attempted to bribe the human resources employee, and said that the termination was not excessive in all of the circumstances. In his ruling in the case, the judge found that the arbitrator had failed to address the question of why Cheema’s actions in taking the discarded supplies or using them in open dealings with the human resources employee warranted her termination. He said the arbitrator also failed to look at why some lesser penalty would not appropriately address her misconduct, especially in light of her 17 years of service with Canada’s largest airline. “I am satisfied that the arbitrator’s conclusory reasons that the ‘termination was not an excessive response in all of the circumstances’ are not transparent and do not allow Ms. Cheema to know why the termination of her employment was not excessive,” said Davies. “As such, on the issue of penalty, the arbitrator’s reasons fail the test of reasonableness.” 'She also declined to say whether Neena Cheema is the same Neena Cheema who in April 2013 was handed a lifetime ban from the Vancouver Sun Run for cheating.' .
  12. . Increasingly wild weather could lead to rising air travel costs ‘It will get passed along to us as an operational cost one way or the other,’ says climate prof Wed Jun 28, 2017- CBC News Be prepared to pay more for airfare if climate change continues to alter weather patterns, increasing the frequency and severity of storms, say climate change and airline industry experts. Daniel Scott, a climate professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said travellers should also expect more flight delays and cancellations amid recurring snowstorms, thunderstorms and bouts of freezing rain. Planes would have to be rerouted more often to avoid bad weather, which would cause them to burn more fuel. Aircraft will also have to be de-iced more often, increasing operational costs for airlines, he said. "It will get passed along to us as an operational cost one way or the other," said Scott, the university's research chair in climate and society. "They won't put it as an explicit line item, but it will appear in that fuel surcharge which has never disappeared." Air Canada started putting in an additional charge in 2007 when oil prices spiked to more than $145 per barrel. Higher costs could lessen demand for flights The president and managing director of a Toronto-based aviation advisory firm said airlines would have to increase their fees by at least a few dollars per ticket to cover the additional costs from more stormy weather. "For customers on, say, a low-cost ticket that don't travel very often, another couple of dollars on top of many other dollars and fees and charges does have a rebound effect and affect demand for travel," said Robert Kokonis of AirTrav Inc. Brad Cicero, a spokesperson for Porter Airlines, said if an increase in bad weather started costing airlines more money, the decision to pass those costs onto consumers would have to be carefully weighed. "It's unlikely that any individual airline was going to do that on their own for an extended period of time without seeing everybody else kind of stay in the same ballpark," he said. "That's what you're comparing to every day — you're watching what everybody else is charging for an individual route. There are so many factors that go into pricing, it's not necessarily going to be influenced by any one thing." WestJet also said there are numerous factors that go into ticket pricing, and that it wasn't sure how bad weather would factor into what it charges. 'Air Canada denied CBC's request for an interview or information on how severe weather impacts its operations.' .
  13. Great Looking Paint Job on our CF-18

    . "It shouldn't be happening, not with people in town with PTSD, refugees coming from war zones, it could trigger all sorts of trauma,"
  14. . Ads from company fighting for passenger rights banned from 2 airports Flight Claim believes Montreal, Toronto airports won't run ad because of pressure from the airlines Tue Jun 20, 2017 - CBC News By Sophia Harris Montreal's airport has abruptly pulled an ad campaign promoting a new company, Flight Claim, that fights for compensation for wronged passengers. Toronto's Pearson Airport is also refusing to display the ad created by the company. "We're just there to protect and help the rights of the passengers, so we feel it's kind of sad that we're not able to publicize in a free market," said Jacob Charbonneau, general manager of Flight Claim, based in Montreal. Charbonneau co-founded Flight Claim with the notion that most Canadian air passengers don't know their compensation rights for things like delays, cancellations and overbooked flights. Flight Claim offers to take on passengers' cases and fight their battle with the airline for 25 per cent of the awarded compensation. To promote the company, Flight Claim created a video ad informing air travellers they could receive up to $1,800 in compensation, and to contact the company if they want help fighting their case. In April, Flight Claim signed a $73,000 contract to run the ad on screens in the baggage claim area at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport. The campaign started last week and lasted four days before the airport suddenly pulled it. According to an email sent by the airport's advertising agency to Flight Claim, the ad was pulled because of pressure from airlines. Montreal airport spokesperson Stéphanie Lepage says the person who wrote the email made a mistake because the airlines made no such request. Instead, this was purely an airport decision to not create trouble for the airlines. "Passengers, but also airlines, are our customers," Lepage said. "We did not want to have a conflict between airlines and passengers." 'Too confusing for passengers?' .