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e-3193 (Transportation)

E-petition
Initiated by Scott Pettigrew from Regina, Saskatchewan

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of Transport

Whereas:
  • The Regina International Airport is an important public service and economic driver for the province of Saskatchewan;
  • The air travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors have suffered among the most significant financial losses and business disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The Regina International Airport’s air traffic control tower provides high quality jobs at a time of extreme employment uncertainty;
  • Reduced service levels at Regina International Airport would eliminate or severely jeopardize commercial passenger air travel creating significant economic repercussions;
  • Canadian Armed Forces members routinely use the Regina area airspace for high-speed flight training operations;
  • This closure would jeopardize the safety of local airspace, and it is imperative that current safety levels remain intact; and
  • Reduced flight availability would directly lead to travel accessibility issues for hundreds of thousands of Canadians who live in the large geographical area serviced by Regina International Airport.
We, the undersigned, residents of Saskatchewan, call upon the Minister of Transport to:
1. Instruct NAV Canada to immediately cancel their service level review of Regina International Airport’s air traffic control tower; and
2. Explicitly oppose any decision or recommendation that advocates for the closure or reduction of service levels at Regina International Airport’s air traffic control tower.

Response by the Minister of Transport

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Omar Alghabra

NAV Canada is a private, arm’s length corporation, mandated to manage Canada’s air navigation services. The Minister cannot unilaterally stop the NAV Canada Corporation from conducting a level of service review without contravening the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act (CANSCA) and the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs):

  • From CANSCA, “the Corporation has the right to plan and manage Canadian airspace and any other airspace in respect of which Canada has responsibility for the provision of air traffic control services, other than airspace under the control of a person acting under the authority of the Minister of National Defence.
  • From CAR 806.02 (1): “Every person who provides a civil air navigation service shall, where the person proposes to terminate the service or to reduce the level of service that is provided, notify the Minister.”

That being said, as safety regulator, Transport Canada will not permit any changes that would introduce unnecessary safety risk into the system. 

Before undertaking any action, NAV Canada would have to submit aeronautical studies to Transport Canada to identify the risks to aviation safety and how to eliminate or reduce those risks.  The role of the Minister pertaining to the review of service by NAV Canada is toward safety, and to ensure that any proposed changes will not increase unnecessary risk to aviation safety.

From CAR 806.02:    

  • On receipt of a notice referred to in subsection (1) from the ANS Corporation, the Minister may request the ANS Corporation to conduct an aeronautical study for the purpose of demonstrating that the risk to aviation safety would not be unacceptably increased by the proposed termination or reduction in the level of service. 
  • Where, after reviewing an aeronautical study conducted pursuant to subsection (2), the Minister is of the opinion that an unacceptable risk to aviation safety would result from the proposed termination or reduction in the level of service, the Minister may, by order, direct the ANS Corporation to maintain its level of service in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the order.

 

Open for signature
February 18, 2021, at 6:23 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 19, 2021, at 6:23 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Warren Steinley (Regina—Lewvan)
May 10, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00937)
Government response tabled
June 23, 2021
Photo - Warren Steinley
Regina—Lewvan
Conservative Caucus
Saskatchewan
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