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Layoff notices issued at Vancouver Airport as air travel expected to decline over next 3 years

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BY GORD MACDONALD CKNW
Posted May 11, 2020 12:29 pm

The Vancouver Airport Authority says it is laying off 25 per cent of its nearly 550-person workforce due to a dramatic slowdown in air traffic stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A workforce that was geared for an airport handling 26 million passengers a year is being reduced as the authority projects the airport will see eight to 15 million passengers per year over the next three years.

 

On April 29, the airport authority offered voluntary departure packages to all employees and that process concluded last week, so Monday layoff notices went out affecting management and bargaining unit employees.

These layoffs do not apply to the broader workforce of more than 26,000 across Sea Island in Richmond.

“I hope you can appreciate this is an extremely difficult day for all of us at the Airport Authority. Notices and phone calls will be happening throughout the day, so our focus today is on our employees and managing through this process in a respectful manner,” the Airport Authority said in a statement.

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We need to take the word "Authority " out of their name.  Why do we have airport "Authorities ", and Police Services.  They should be called "Airport Service Providers ".  Maybe deflate

It's difficult to control the extras on the departures side, but it's the fifteen family members crowding the arrivals hall waiting for granny that I find frustrating. You see it all the time in the i

While I applaud the GTAA for limiting access to YYZ to masked passengers and employees, the official release, for lack of simplicity, pretty much guarantees chaos outside the terminal, and I have litt

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Traffic plummets, signs replace travellers at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport

News from Global News – link to story and VIDEO

BY WILL REIMER GLOBAL NEWS ~ Posted May 13, 2020

blog_img_994.png?t=1493395573

Travellers passing through Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will notice more than a few changes as public health orders grind all but the most essential travel to a halt.

“I can say that you can expect to arrive and the airport will be significantly quieter than you would be used to seeing,” said Jen Cameron, communications manager for the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA).

“Typically we see 12,300 passengers each day at the airport, and right now we’re seeing less than 200 a day departing … for flights I think we’re seeing between eight to 10 at this time.”

Numbers released by the WAA at the end of April show a continuation of traffic volumes from the end of 2019 into 2020. That, however, changed dramatically in March as the seriousness of COVID-19 became apparent and was subsequently declared a pandemic.

Passenger traffic dropped 20 per cent in the first week of March, and by the last week bottomed out around 95 per cent lower than the same time period the year before. It was an “unheard of low,” according to the WAA.

Despite an advisory against non-essential travel and a mandatory 14-day isolation period for travellers entering Manitoba (and Canada altogether), though, some people are still getting on planes. The experience is just a little different.

“Currently there is a requirement for all travellers to wear non-medical masks or face coverings, and we’re promoting social distancing from the moment travellers walk into the building,” Cameron says.

That includes plenty of signage and audio notifications, informing people not only of the need to keep separate from one another, but also of the latest public health orders, prevention strategies, symptoms, relevant contact information and other protocols.

Regulars to Winnipeg’s airport will also notice the iconic “Hug Rug” at the arrivals area has vanished.

With traffic down substantially, the WAA says certain areas of the terminal have been closed off to cut down on heating and maintenance costs, some kiosks are kept off to minimize electricity consumption, and thermostats on boarding bridges have been turned down.

A mutually agreed-upon ban on cross border travel between Canada and the United States is set to expire on May 21. It’s unclear if it will be extended once more.

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WATERLOO REGION Up in the air: the fate of the airline industry and Waterloo Region’s airport is uncertain post-pandemic

News from The Record – link to story

By James Jackson, Record Reporter | Sat., May 16, 2020

airport_7.jpg (c) Copyright – The Record

BRESLAU — Take a drive south along Fountain Street North near the town of Breslau and you’ll eventually pass the Region of Waterloo International Airport. There you’ll see signs of how the global pandemic has hit the airline industry.

About 250 private planes are securely tied to their moors, and the nearly 30 planes that make up the local flight school remain grounded. To top it off, more than half a dozen blue, white and orange Sunwing Boeing 737-800 jets are parked on the runway and tell the real story of an imperiled industry.

As of early April, the International Air Transport Association — which represents about 290 airlines and 82 per cent of global air traffic — said the number of flights globally was down 80 per cent compared to 2019, largely due to strict travel restrictions imposed by countries trying to slow the spread of the virus.

Some in the industry have called it the worst crisis in the history of aviation. Worse than the financial crisis of 2008. Worse than the SARS outbreak in 2003. Worse than the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Aside from two WestJet flights per week to Calgary on Thursdays and Sundays and the occasional private flight, the once-bustling regional airport feels like a ghost town.

Region of Waterloo International Airport general manager Chris Wood said before the pandemic hit the airport could see 1,000 plane movements (takeoffs or landings) on a nice day, but lately they’ve been lucky if they hit 100.

“It’s been devastating for the industry worldwide,” said Wood. “We haven’t seen anything like this, and it happened so quickly.”

Up in the air

No one really knows how this pandemic will play out or how the industry will weather the uncertainty.

“If you have a crystal ball, can I borrow it?” joked Wood.

Air Canada recently reported a $1-billion loss in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a $345-million profit in the same period last year, and chief executive Calin Rovinescu called it the “darkest period ever” in the history of aviation.

The company is burning through $22 million every day paying rent, interest and other expenses. The company had about $6.5-billion in cash at the end of March, enough Rovinescu said for the company to emerge on the other side of the crisis.

Long-term forecasting is fraught with uncertainty and there are a lot of variables to consider. Perhaps none are bigger than trying to predict the human response to this pandemic.

Tens of millions of people around the world have spent weeks and months in strict lockdowns that have shuttered most non-essential businesses. But the highly infectious virus is still lurking, and there is no vaccine.

Just how many people are ready and eager to jump on a plane under those conditions is anyone’s guess.

“Many people won’t want to travel until they feel confident they can travel safely in a confined space,” said William Morrison, an associate professor in business and economics at Wilfrid Laurier University and co-editor of the Journal of Air Transport Management. He is also a research fellow at the Centre for Transportation Studies at the University of British Columbia.

Morrison predicts demand for air travel will remain muted until either a vaccine is available, or testing and monitoring is more widespread. This is especially true for the leisure or vacation market where spending is more discretionary and price sensitive.

“Ultimately it’s a matter of confidence — the public has to feel confident that they’re not at risk,” he said.

Business travel may rebound more quickly, but even the fate of in-person business meetings could be up in the air after employees have spent the past few months proving to themselves and others that much of what they do can be done with a computer screen and a reliable internet connection.

“It’s likely that many aspects of business travel may not rebound,” Morrison said.

Shaky economics

Another major factor in how quickly people get back in the air is price.

Could airlines be required to leave a certain proportion of every flight empty to help promote social distancing aboard their jets? Some carriers have already begun leaving middle seats empty, but the European Union has recently stated it will not be a requirement.

Airlines use what is called the “Break Even Load Factor” to determine how many seats on every flight an airline needs to sell in order to break even or make a profit. A number of factors, including ticket price and fuel costs, can affect that percentage.

Morrison said one major Canadian carrier breaks even when about 75 per cent of the 737-800 jets it flies are full, and prior to the pandemic it usually sold about 85 per cent of seats.

But if they were to lose a third or half of their seats to help keep passengers apart in the air, ticket prices or baggage fees would likely have to go up.

Maybe this is an opportunity for the industry to reflect on its huge growth in recent decades, Morrison conceded, and address some of the growing concerns around international air travel — namely, its impact on the environment.

He pulled up a graph showing the steady rise in worldwide passengers between 1970 (less than half a billion) to 2019 (just over four billion). He highlighted economic shocks that have impacted the industry in the past — the Iran-Iraq War in 1980, the Gulf War a decade later, the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the 2008 global financial crisis.

Each was a shock to the system at the time, but when viewed over five decades those jolts appear more as small patches of turbulence followed by years of relatively smooth (and increasingly rapid) growth.

Is the pandemic just another blip on an otherwise smooth trajectory? Or will it become something more?

Suzanne Kearns, an associate professor of geography and aviation at the University of Waterloo, is optimistic the industry will eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as it has from other shocks, but what that recovery will look like is less clear.

One possibility is a V-shaped recovery where travellers who have spent months in social isolation and are desperate to travel again flock back into airports and generate a quick recovery.

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The other is a U-shaped recovery where travellers — whose spending may be hampered by higher prices and a possible global recession, and who also remain worried about the virus re-emerging — are slower to return to the skies.

The airline industry is a vital economic driver, she added, and each of the 2.7 million jobs in the industry around the world supports 24 more jobs in other areas of the economy.

Like Morrison, however, Kearns said a lot relies on how safe travellers feel inside airport terminals and aboard planes.

“How do you make these spaces safe? I don’t know if masks or gloves alone are enough,” she said.

The role of Waterloo Region’s airport

All of this uncertainty raises questions about how Waterloo Region’s airport will be impacted.

Three years ago, the regional government released a master plan that laid out possible expansion plans for the facility.

It projected Pearson International Airport would reach its maximum capacity of 70 million annual passengers by the mid-2030s and smaller, regional airports like Waterloo’s would be key in absorbing the overflow.

The $375-million expansion and modernization plan was written to guide the next two decades of growth at the local airport, including runway expansions. The first phase of the expansion wouldn’t be triggered until the airport saw 250,000 passengers per year, or about four 737 passenger jets every day.

In 2018, only about 80,000 passengers went through the airport.

Regional councillor Sean Strickland said with the global uncertainty around the future of air travel it might be wise to review that plan.

“I think the numbers still make sense, but the time frame I think needs to be extended,” said Strickland.

He noted how even prior to the pandemic the local airport was struggling to attract business and relied on about $6 million from the region each year. Over the past decade, the region has also lost service from carriers such as American Airlines, Bearskin Airlines and Arctic charter Nolinor.

Strickland said the region should consider selling or leasing the property to the private sector, a position he held even before the pandemic hit.

That all hinges on the results of an ongoing service review at the region, he added.

Tony LaMantia, president and CEO of the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation, said the airport is critical for the success of the region. In 2015, the economic impact of the airport on the regional economy was an estimated $90 million.

“If you believe in growth for the region, you have to believe in YKF,” he said, referring to the airport’s location indicator code. “Waterloo Region will not be as vibrant or successful without the airport infrastructure.”

Yet even LaMantia noted it might be time to re-examine the master plan to ensure it makes sense post-pandemic.

“You’ll have to dust off the master plan and look at the impact,” he said.

Woods said Toronto’s Pearson airport saw 50 million passengers last year but that could plummet by as much as 30 million this year.

“I don’t think we’ll get back to ‘normal’ until the vast majority of us are immune,” he said. “How long that takes, well your guess is as good as mine.”

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore, a regional travel and tourism hub, will gradually allow travellers to transit through its Changi Airport from June 2, the city-state’s aviation regulator said on Wednesday.

Currently, foreign passengers may only transit through Singapore if they are on repatriation flights arranged by their governments. In March, visitors were banned from entering or transiting through the city-state to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is part of Singapore’s strategy to gradually re-open air transport to meet the needs of our economy and our people, whilst ensuring sufficient safeguards for safe travel,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said.

It said airlines should submit their proposals for transfer lanes, which will be evaluated taking into account aviation safety, public health considerations, as well as the health of passengers and air crew.

 

Changi Airport, among the world’s busiest last year, recorded 25,200 passenger movements in April, crashing 99.5% from the year ago.

Singapore is set to start easing its coronavirus curbs from June 2.

 

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With St. John’s airport bleeding money, authority ‘looking at all options’ to cut costs

News from CBC News – link to story

CBC News · Posted: May 20, 2020

April passenger traffic at St. John’s International down 95.4 per cent

st-john-s-international-airport.jpg Passenger traffic at St. John’s International Airport plummeted by more than 95 per cent in April, and the airport authority is predicting that revenues could drop by two-thirds this year because of the pandemic. (St. John’s Airport Authority)

With business nearly at a standstill because of the pandemic, the body that operates St. John’s International Airport says it has paused an expansion project and is “looking at all options” to cut costs.

The airport’s chief administrative officer, Peter Avery, described the situation as “catastrophic” and added “we continue to live off borrowing.”

The airport was forecasting revenues of $46 million this year, but Avery expects that the fallout from measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 could crush that figure by roughly two thirds.

He added that’s just a best guess, since it’s impossible to say when travel bans and restrictions will be eased, and how long it will take for the airline industry to recover.

“It remains to be seen what the future of operations looks like at YYT, and what the future of air travel in the province looks like when this is all over,” Avery told Radio-Canada in a recent interview.

peter-avery.jpg Peter Avery, CEO at St. John’s International Airport, says all options for cutting costs are being examined as business dries up because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (St. John’s airport authority)

In what Avery calls an unprecedented situation, passenger numbers at St. John’s were down more than 95 per cent last month, in comparison to April 2019.

In fact, just 5,424 passengers flowed through the airport in April, compared to 117,228 for the same period last year.

A similar blow has been dealt to major airports throughout Atlantic Canada, with experts now forecasting it will take three to five years for passenger traffic to recover to 2019 levels.

Terminal feels like a ‘ghost town’

Avery referred to the airport terminal as a “ghost town” and said “I’ve never seen anything like it” for an airport authority that was incorporated in 1998, which means he’s including the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

And that’s also bad news for businesses at the airport.

brenda-o-reilly.jpg Brenda O’Reilly owns YellowBelly YYT restaurant and pub at St. Johns International Airport, which has been closed for more than two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

“We’re bleeding money every day,” said Brenda O’Reilly, owner of YellowBelly YYT restaurant and pub at the airport.

The 150-seat restaurant opened less than two years ago in the departures lounge, but is now closed because of rules that prevent in-store dining and traffic levels that would not make it viable to reopen.

“Our business model has been tossed upside down,” said O’Reilly, who owns four businesses in the city that specialize in hospitality.

Last month, she was forced to lay off 120 employees.

But of those businesses, she’s least worried about the airport restaurant.

“People will eventually get confidence back to travel,” she said. “We just need to control our costs.”

On most days, there are five flights at St. John’s airport, with the planes well below maximum occupancy. Typically, there are between 35 and 40 flights daily, according to the authority.

Terminal expansion period paused

But even though commercial activity has largely dried up, the airport is required to provide the highest levels of safety and security for medical flights, essential commercial travel and cargo services.

So in order to manage spending, the authority has hit pause on Phase II of a terminal expansion project and other non-essential capital expenditures.

“We’re looking at every option there is to reduce costs,” he said.

Most of the airport’s revenues are generated from commercial flight operations, with the vast majority of flights arriving from other provinces, said Avery.

He said the airport has a “fairly healthy” balance sheet, but admitted that there will come a time when borrowing measures will “hit the wall.”

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Edmonton International Airport lays off 40% of workers as passenger traffic drops by 95%

BY EMILY MERTZ GLOBAL NEWS

 WATCH (May 17): Few industries have been hit as hard and as fast as the travel industry during this pandemic. From cruise ships to the airlines, as Jackson Proskow explains the future of travel will be very different when the world recovers and reopens.
Edmonton Airports announced Wednesday it was forced to reduce its workforce by up to 40 per cent, a move that is expected to impact up to 100 union and non-union positions at the international airport.

EIA explained the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have “a crippling effect on airports and the aviation industry” and that the group already took “aggressive cost-cutting measures and examined all other alternatives” before looking at layoffs.

“Edmonton Airports has officially served notice to our union and these workforce reductions are expected to begin after June 30,” the corporation said in a news release.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Calgary Airport Authority lays off one-third of staff as travel drops

In 2019, Edmonton International Airport moved 8.15 million passengers. This year, it’s estimated EIA will move only about 2.7 million passengers.

“Passenger traffic has reduced by approximately 95 per cent and the airport is not expected to return to 2019 passenger traffic levels until at least three years from now,” the airport said.


“Revenues have declined by approximately 90 per cent in the last two months. There is no choice but to reduce labour costs in line with the new passenger traffic reality. This will safeguard the future of our airport and its role as a not-for-profit economic catalyst in our region.

Before reducing its workforce, EIA offered voluntary unpaid leave and voluntary early retirement incentives to employees.

Capital spending was cut by 75 per cent “to cover only essential safety and regulatory projects” and non-labour costs were cut by $50 million, the airport said.

READ MORE: WestJet says it’s laying off 1,700 pilots due to coronavirus crisis

“This is a difficult and sad day for Edmonton Airports, and we regret having to take these steps,” president and CEO Tom Ruth said. “We feel this loss profoundly.

“Our critical operational and financial challenges demanded that we take this course of action to ensure we can continue to provide our region with key services including passenger, cargo and air ambulance flights.”

READ MORE: Air Canada looking to cut roughly 20,000 positions amid COVID-19 crisis

Edmonton Airports shared its deep gratitude for its employees, their contributions, and said it will “redouble our efforts to fulfill our mission of creating economic prosperity for our region during the eventual recovery phase from COVID-19.”

 

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Airport authorities spend money with such disregard to any rational frugal thought. And why should they - Just jack the AIF.  Non profit - get bent. Spend at Will and chase the revenue later. 

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2 hours ago, internet said:

Airport authorities spend money with such disregard to any rational frugal thought. And why should they - Just jack the AIF.  Non profit - get bent. Spend at Will and chase the revenue later. 

 

Are they related to Justin?  ?

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International arrivals face stricter airport screening

 

  • Calgary Herald
  • 21 May 2020
  • JASON HERRING
img?regionKey=tkwQJ6uDJtMH5LIO%2b1DT5g%3d%3dGAVIN YOUNG The province on Wednesday reported only 19 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest number recorded since March 16.

International travellers arriving in Alberta will now face heightened screening as the province aims to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Wednesday that international travel played a key role in the spread of the novel coronavirus in Alberta, an outbreak that has led to 6,735 confirmed cases and 128 deaths since it was first detected early March.

To prevent the introduction of more cases, Kenney says travellers arriving to airports in Calgary or Edmonton from abroad will have their temperature checked using an infrared camera.

They also must provide a detailed plan on how they will self-isolate for 14 days and will receive a followup phone call no more than three days after their arrival to ensure they are following the plan. The plan must detail how they will get to their self-isolation location, how they will get food and prescriptions, and who will support them during the isolation period.

Those who don’t have support will be provided with hotel accommodations. The new restrictions come into effect immediately and is in addition to customs screening by the Canada Border Services Agency.

“In almost everywhere that the virus took hold, the initial cases involved international travellers,” Kenney said. “Given that airports and border crossings remain a high-risk vector for transmission and at the same time a crucial part of the infrastructure we need to get our economy moving, we need to do more, especially as we move toward relaunch.”

Though international arrivals to Alberta have slowed dramatically since the start of the pandemic, Kenney said there are still about 400 people who arrive at Alberta’s airports from out of the country, mainly at the Calgary International Airport. In Canada, only four airports remain open to international travel, with Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal accepting flights in addition to Calgary.

In two weeks, a similar procedure will be introduced at the United States land border crossing with Alberta at Coutts, just north of Montana. Kenney said about 90 per cent of land border arrivals come through that port of entry. There currently are no considerations for screenings at provincial borders, the premier said.

The border between Canada and the United States remains closed to all non-essential travel until at least June 21 after the U.S. agreed to Canada’s request to extend the mutual ban on crossings for another month.

Restrictions on non-essential travel for Albertans likely won’t be lifted until Phase 3 of the province’s relaunch plan, Kenney said, with no date yet earmarked for that stage.

“When that does come, however, we can be confident that actions like these which we are announcing today will help keep Albertans safe from new infections from international travel,” he said.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said international travel played a major role in Alberta’s outbreak and that cases linked to international travel continue to emerge.

“The vast majority of our cases in the first several weeks of our pandemic here in Alberta were imported cases from international travel from all over the world,” Hinshaw said.

“The country that we have the most cases originating from is the United States, so we did see many, many cases coming into Alberta from the U.S.”

In addition to the passenger screening, Kenney said sanitation and physical distancing measures are being introduced at international arrival terminals at Alberta’s airports.

WEDNESDAY SEES ONE DEATH, 19 NEW CASES; CANADA’S TOP DOCTOR CALLS FOR MASK USE

Alberta reported only 19 new

COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the lowest number recorded since March 16.

The new cases came from just more than 2,600 tests, a 0.7 per cent positive rate. Alberta has the capacity to test up to 7,000 people per day.

There are now 6,735 confirmed coronavirus cases in Alberta, with 5,637 recovered and 970 cases still active.

Wednesday marks the first time that the number of active COVID-19 cases in the province dropped below 1,000 since April 16.

One new death was reported Wednesday, a man in his 70s from Calgary’s Extendicare Hillcrest long-term care home.

However, Alberta’s death toll from the virus stayed static at 128, as one previously reported death — also at Extendicare Hillcrest — was determined not to be related to COVID-19. The 128 deaths include 95 continuing-care facility residents and 92 people from the Alberta Health Services Calgary zone.

There are currently 58 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, seven of whom are in intensive-care units, decreases in both metrics from Tuesday.

Also Wednesday, Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam recommended Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren’t sure if they will be able to maintain distance from one another.

“This will help us reopen and add another layer to how you go out safely,” Tam said Wednesday in her daily briefing.

Tam added that wearing face masks may become a standard part of public-health responses to future respiratory outbreaks.

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Workforce reductions announced at Edmonton International Airport

From Edmonton International Airport

EIA-Logo.png

May 20, 2020 (Edmonton, AB) – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a crippling effect on airports and the aviation industry, and as a result Edmonton Airports has been forced to reduce our workforce by up to 40 per cent. This is expected to impact up to 100 union and non-union positions at the airport. Edmonton Airports has officially served notice to our union and these workforce reductions are expected to begin after June 30, 2020.

Last year, EIA moved 8.15 million passengers; in 2020, it is forecast to move approximately 2.7 million passengers. Passenger traffic has reduced by approximately 95 per cent and the airport is not expected to return to 2019 passenger traffic levels until at least three years from now. Revenues have declined by approximately 90 per cent in the last two months. There is no choice but to reduce labour costs in line with the new passenger traffic reality. This will safeguard the future of our airport and its role as a not-for-profit economic catalyst in our region.

Edmonton Airports already undertook a series of aggressive cost cutting measures and examined all other alternatives before implementing workforce reductions; for example, offering voluntary unpaid leave and voluntary early retirement incentives for employees. Additionally, capital spending was cut by 75 per cent to cover only essential safety and regulatory projects and non-labour costs were reduced by 50 million dollars.

“This is a difficult and sad day for Edmonton Airports, and we regret having to take these steps. Our employees are the foundation of our organization and our contribution to our communities, and we feel this loss profoundly”, said Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton Airports. “Our critical operational and financial challenges demanded that we take this course of action to ensure we can continue to provide our region with key services including passenger, cargo and air ambulance flights.”

Edmonton Airports is passionately focused on our mission to develop economic prosperity for our region, and it is extremely difficult to share this update. This news deeply impacts people and our communities. It is only after exhausting every other possible action that these steps were taken to protect the airport’s ability to continue operating and enable a future recovery.

We want to acknowledge, with deep gratitude, the contributions that Edmonton Airports employees have made to our organization and surrounding communities. We will unfortunately be losing great employees from our workforce who have contributed to expanding air services for our region, provided a caring passenger service program, created jobs and prosperity, and earned an outstanding international industry reputation for Edmonton. While there will now be a smaller operating structure going forward, we will redouble our efforts to fulfill our mission of creating economic prosperity for our region during the eventual recovery phase from COVID-19.

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Stephenville airport loses summer flights from Porter, Sunwing

News from CBC News – link to story

Airport to lose about 60 seasonal flights a year

CBC News · May 27, 2020

porter-sunwing.jpg Porter and Sunwing have both cancelled summer flights to Stephenville. (CBC/Canadian Press)

Stephenville’s struggling airport has been dealt another blow, as two more airlines have cancelled their summer flights to the western Newfoundland destination.

Sunwing Airlines announced last week that when its summer flights between Toronto and Newfoundland begin June 26, they won’t be flying to Stephenville.

On Tuesday, Porter Airlines announced its planes would stay on the ground until July 29 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, and cancelled its summer flights to Stephenville entirely.

Mayor Tom Rose said he was expecting that Porter might not fly to Stephenville this summer, but he was surprised Sunwing chose to fly to Deer Lake.

“I think Sunwing probably looked at their travel capacity and the numbers that were going to Deer Lake and Stephenville and probably made a business decision,” he said.

“[That’s] unfortunate, because they’ve been here for about a decade now.”

The announcements from Porter and Sunwing come just months after PAL Airlines flew its last flight from Stephenville in January, leaving the airport without a year-round commercial air service.

With Porter and Sunwing gone, Rose said, the airport will lose about 60 seasonal flights a year.

tom-rose-mayor-stephenville.jpg Stephenville Mayor Tom Rose says he expects positive announcements for the airport in the next month or two. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

He said the town has been working with the Stephenville Airport Corporation to try to attract travellers in the region back to Stephenville and to encourage more airlines to offer flights from the airport.

The mayor said he also expects positive announcements in the next month or two that will make Stephenville “a more robust, busier airport for domestic travel.”

“Our airport’s been hurting for years, we’ve been putting a fair bit of municipal funds into the airport to keep it going, but it hasn’t been sustainable,” he said.

“[But] I’m pretty excited for 2021.”

‘Big opportunities’ for Stephenville

Rose said as travel restrictions due to the pandemic begin to lift, Stephenville could take advantage of increases in travel within Canada. 

“People, I believe, are going to be a little hesitant to fly international, but they’ll feel a little bit more assurance and easiness about flying domestically.… There’s big opportunities for us,” he said.

In the meantime, Rose said, other sources of revenue, like air ambulance and military operations, can help keep the airport going, and the town will be providing more funding to the airport as part of a restructuring plan, in addition to a $100,000 grant given to the airport in March.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, the Stephenville Airport Corporation said it was disappointed by Porter’s decision to cancel its flights to the airport, but understands the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a very short season and considering the provincial travel restrictions in place for Newfoundland and Labrador at this time, it would be very challenging for leisure air service to resume and be profitable,” the statement reads.

“We continually work with air carriers to encourage them to consider Stephenville Airport as a leisure market, as we have established that there is a high propensity for visiting friends and relatives in the core summer season and holidays.”

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Note to small communities - AC was privatized in 1988. There is no state airline.

You will get air service from an air operator only if there is a profit to be made on such service.

Many small communities are going to see loss of or significant reduction in air service. And prices are going way up.

And the airport that was handed to you by the Feds is about to become a mini-Mirabel.

No help from the Feds. No charity work.

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3 hours ago, rudder said:

Note to small communities - AC was privatized in 1988. There is no state airline.

You will get air service from an air operator only if there is a profit to be made on such service.

Many small communities are going to see loss of or significant reduction in air service. And prices are going way up.

And the airport that was handed to you by the Feds is about to become a mini-Mirabel.

No help from the Feds. No charity work.

Our neighbour to the south has a solution to the problem.  

Quote

Essential Air Service

Current and Historical Status Reports and links to other EAS Reports and Publications

Overview https://www.transportation.gov/policy/aviation-policy/small-community-rural-air-service/essential-air-service

The Airline Deregulation Act (ADA), passed in 1978, gave air carriers almost total freedom to determine which markets to serve domestically and what fares to charge for that service. The Essential Air Service (EAS) program was put into place to guarantee that small communities that were served by certificated air carriers before airline deregulation maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service.  The United States Department of Transportation (the Department) is mandated to provide eligible EAS communities with access to the National Air Transportation System.  This is generally accomplished by subsidizing two round trips a day with 30- to 50-seat aircraft, or additional frequencies with aircraft with 9-seat or fewer, usually to a large- or medium-hub airport.  The Department currently subsidizes commuter and certificated air carriers to serve approximately 60 communities in Alaska and 115 communities in the lower 48 contiguous states that otherwise would not receive any scheduled air service.

History of EAS

Before airline deregulation, air carriers' operating certificates for most of these communities required air carriers to schedule and provide two daily round trips at each point on their certificates.  During the pre-ADA debates, the prospect of allowing carriers to terminate scheduled air service without prior Government approval raised concern that communities with relatively lower traffic levels would lose service entirely as carriers shifted their operations to larger, potentially more lucrative markets.  To address this concern, Congress added section 419 to the Federal Aviation Act, which established the EAS program to ensure that smaller communities would retain a link to the National Air Transportation System, with Federal subsidy when necessary.  Under this program, the Department determines the minimum level of service required at each eligible community by specifying a hub through which the community is linked to the national network, a minimum number of round trips and available seats that must be provided to that hub, certain characteristics of the aircraft to be used, and the maximum permissible number of intermediate stops to the hub.

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Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) Grant Selections Archive

Overview   https://www.transportation.gov/policy/aviation-policy/SCASDP-Recipient-Archive

The Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) program is limited to a maximum of 40 grant awards, with a maximum of four grants per State, in each year the program is funded.  There are no limits on the amounts of individual awards, and the amounts awarded will vary depending upon the features and merits of the proposals selected.  In past years, the Department’s individual grant sizes have ranged from $20,000 to nearly $1.6 million.

 

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Pearson airport restricted to only travellers starting June 1

News from City News – link to story

BY NEWS STAFF | MAY 28, 2020

Pearson-airport-empty-deoartures-area-8-e1586982289662.jpgToronto Pearson Airports departures area sits empty on April 14, 2020. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

Pearson International Airport officials are limiting the number of people who will be allowed to enter the terminal starting next week.

According to a directive sent by the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, “meeters and greeters” will not be allowed to accompany passengers arriving and/or leaving in to the airport. An exception will be made for anyone who is travelling as an unaccompanied minor or assisting anyone with disabilities.

The restriction also applies to those individuals who work at Pearson.

“Airport workers who need to meet with family members or other acquaintances for any reason before, during or after their workday, must do so outside the terminal buildings,” reads the directive. “Family members or acquaintances are not permitted inside the terminals for any reason until further notice from the GTAA.”

All airport workers are asked to maintain a two metre distance between colleagues and passengers wherever possible in the terminal.

Also as of June 1, all passengers and airport workers will be required to wear a face covering at all times when in public areas of the airport including security screening, parking facilities, sidewalks and curbs outside the terminal and other outdoor public areas.

The directive says you may be asked to remove the face covering for identification purposes or if you are seated and physically distanced when eating or drinking.

Since April 20, people flying to or from Canadian airports have been required to wear face covering following a Transport Canada directive.

When it comes to enforcing the new measures, the GTAA says Peel Regional Police, security guards and the airport’s public safety officers will be “politely educating” staff and passengers who are not following the new requirements.

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I hope they keep it that way.  During peak periods pearson is mess if you are trying to pick someone up.

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It's difficult to control the extras on the departures side, but it's the fifteen family members crowding the arrivals hall waiting for granny that I find frustrating. You see it all the time in the international side of YVR.

Edited by J.O.
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53 minutes ago, J.O. said:

It's difficult to control the extras on the departures side, but it's the fifteen family members crowding the arrivals hall waiting for granny that I find frustrating. You see it all the time in the international side of YVR.

While I applaud the GTAA for limiting access to YYZ to masked passengers and employees, the official release, for lack of simplicity, pretty much guarantees chaos outside the terminal, and I have little confidence the RCMP patrols can help. It should have required, in simple and concise language, all meeters and greeters who arrive by car to go directly to the free cell phone lots. Knowing how things operate at YYZ, what will likely happen is that cars will circle around endlessly, or more likely park along the sides of the ramps.  This might not be a concern immediately, but it won't take much of a traffic recovery for congestion to mount. One of the worst failures of the pandemic so far in Canada has been with communications. Could be a lot simpler, plainer and more forceful.

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1 hour ago, J.O. said:

It's difficult to control the extras on the departures side, but it's the fifteen family members crowding the arrivals hall waiting for granny that I find frustrating. You see it all the time in the international side of YVR.

I suspect this ban will only last until the various shops etc that were encouraged to open at the airport return to being open.  I know YYC has a number that you can visit prior to going through security and I guess the others do as well.

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On 5/20/2020 at 7:45 PM, internet said:

Airport authorities spend money with such disregard to any rational frugal thought. And why should they - Just jack the AIF.  Non profit - get bent. Spend at Will and chase the revenue later. 

shocking 

 

Winnipeg airport improvement fee notching up Sept. 1 

06/1/2020 7:46 AM

Winnipeg Airports Authority will be increasing its Airport Improvement Fee by Sept. 1 to offset the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fee, applied to commercial airline passengers departing the Richardson International Airport, will increase from $25 to $38 per passenger, according to the airport authority.

The Winnipeg Airports Authority cited the economic consequences of the pandemic, noting that air traffic in April alone fell in excess of 95 per cent, and that it is expected to take several years to return to normal air traffic volumes.

The airport improvement fees are dedicated towards capital needed to maintain critical infrastructure for the benefit of the community, and does not cover airport operating costs, the airport authority said.

 

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20 minutes ago, Airband said:

Standing by for a 'Covid Recovery Fee' showing up on bills across a wide spectrum of businesses (with no accounting on how they arrived at it).

There is no doubt that some businesses need to cover their loses but......Lots of reports coming from the US, not sure about here in Canada.  My reaction is that the menu prices should be adjusted to reflect any increase in costs and not by adding a surcharge.  The surcharge being a "service" will, if I am correct, also be subject to Provincial tax as well as GST. 

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