Aviation associations renew request for government support

Fourteen aviation industry associations have come together to send a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, outlining a number of necessary near-term initiatives required for the national aviation community to “emerge from this (COVID-19) crisis ready to support Canada’s economic recovery.”

Aviation associations request government funding
Time is of the essence when it comes to government funding for Canada’s aviation industry, according to a coalition of 14 associations. Eric Dumigan Photo
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The May 8 letter was signed by the Canadian Business Aviation Association, the Air Transport Association of Canada, the Alberta Aviation Council, the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers of Canada, the Association Québécoise du transport aérien, the British Columbia Aviation Council, the Canadian Airports Council, the Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, the Helicopter Association of Canada, the Manitoba Aviation Council, the National Airlines Council of Canada, the Northern Air Transport Association and the Saskatchewan Aviation Council.

The associations identify “industry-wide actions” the government can take that will allow businesses to “help their passengers, customers, students and communities to return to a state of economic health and normalcy as quickly as possible.”

These actions include:

  • An extension to the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy set to expire June 5;
  • Financial support for all of Canada’s air operators, airports, maintenance, repair and overhaul organizations, and flight training units devastated by the impact of COVID-19;
  • Ensuring that all airports, regardless of ownership model, are eligible for all support programs implemented to combat COVID-19;
  • A suspension of all federal excise and carbon taxes on jet fuel and av gas;
  • Federal financial assistance for air navigation charges incurred for flights flown during this pandemic period;
  • A suspension of passenger Air Traveller Security Charges (ATSC) for flights flown during this pandemic period;
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  • Extended rent relief for National Airport Systems airports;
  • Extended Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for all airports, regardless of ownership model, helping Canada’s air operators, flight training units and airports;
  • Subsidies to support upskilling and reskilling of the workforce;
  • An extension of the deferrals on current regulatory implementation and consultation processes that are not related to the pandemic.

“Time is of the essence and our ability to respond effectively will translate to how quickly Canadians and our economy get moving again,” the associations’ letter reads. “We are already reaching out to the ministers and departments who have direct oversight on these issues. But it is also important to share with the government how these actions will not only support aviation businesses and jobs, but how they in fact will bolster the Canadian economy as a whole.”

In addition to the Prime Minister, the letter was sent to Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains.

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