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Airlines Avoid Alcohol Test Mandate

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has put airlines on notice about impaired pilots.

Canada’s eight largest airlines appear to have headed off mandatory random drug and alcohol testing for flight crews but Transport Minister Marc Garneau has reminded them they’re being watched.

After a Sunwing captain passed out drunk in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 he was supposed to command to Regina and Cancun last Dec. 31, Garneau ordered airlines to report on their procedures to prevent such a thing from happening.

By last week the airlines had confirmed they “have proper safety protocols in place to deal with alcohol and drug testing” according to a statement released by Transport Canada.

The government punctuated its statement with an admonition that it’s a criminal offense for anyone to fly an aircraft within eight hours of drinking alcohol and that it’s up to the airlines “ensure that their employees follow [the regulations].”

“As a commercial air carrier authorised to carry passengers in Canada, you have an obligation to ensure that flight crew members are fit to fly when requiring them to carry out such responsibilities,” he said.

The Sunwing pilot, a Slovakian on a Canadian work permit, was arrested and charged.

Last July two Air Transat pilots were arrested for drunkeness at Glasgow Airport in Scotland just before taking 250 passengers back to Canada.

Transport Canada is going ahead with plans for a “Fit to Fly” workshop next June and discussion of random alcohol and drug testing is on the agenda.

U.S. airlines are required to conduct random drug and alcohol testing for their flight crew and results have consistently shown a statistically insignificant positive rate.

Airlines Avoid Alcohol Test Mandate

Canada’s eight largest airlines appear to have headed off mandatory random drug and alcohol testing for flight crews but Transport Minister Marc Garneau has reminded them they’re being watched. After a Sunwing captain passed out drunk in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 he was supposed to command to Regina and Cancun last Dec. 31, Garneau
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Bombardier Loan ‘Legal’

Bombardier has hit back at allegations by Brazil-based Embraer that a $372.5 million loan from the Canadian government violates international trade laws. In an op-ed article published in the Globe and Mail, Mike Nadolski, Bombardier’s vice president of communications and public affairs said the loan agreement was specifically structured to ensure compliance with trade laws.
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New Laser Protection Developed

A Nova Scotia company has invented a window film that protects pilots against laser attacks. Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) nannounced this week that it has reached a deal with Airbus who will test the material for possible use on its products. The film reflects laser light but is transparent to normal light intensities. It is
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Super Hornets Will ‘Weaken’ RCAF

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Two Instructors Die in Crash

Mount Royal University in Calgary temporarily grounded all its aircraft Tuesday after two of its instructors died in the crash of their Tecnam P2006T northeast of the city on Monday. They were identified Wednesday as Jeffrey Bird and Reynold Johnson. Bird was a former military flight instructor and Johnson a retired airline pilot who had
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Pizza For the Competition

Some stranded Air Canada passengers are singing the praises of a WestJet pilot who bought them pizza after their own airline told them there was no food available. The unidentified WestJet pilot called a local pizza place in Fredericton after a planeload of Air Canada passengers landed back there when their plane couldn’t land in
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CAE Wins C295 Training Contract

Airbus has awarded the contract to provide a full suite of training services for the C295 fixed wing search and rescue program. The contract could be worth as much as $300 million if all the options are exercised. The first $200 million over the next 11 years and another $100 million if the contract is
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Fairview Canso First Flight June 18

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Buy An Arctic Tour Kilometre

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Engine Swap At -30

Aviation companies in Iqaluit rallied to help a Swiss Air International maintenance crew navigate some unfamiliar territory this week. On Feb. 1, A SwissAir Boeing 777 on its way to Los Angeles from Zurich had to divert to Iqaluit with an engine failure. Another plane was sent from New York to get the 233 passengers
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Travel Ban Hurts Student Pilot

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Super Hornets By 2019

Canada will get its first of 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets in 2019 but the fourth generation fighters might not look like much of a bargain by that time according to a CBC report. The Super Hornets are expected to cost as much as $120 million each, depending on how they’re equipped according the network.
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Air Georgian Pilots Join ALPA

Pilots who fly for Air Georgian, which operates regional service for Air Canada in Ontario and the West, have voted overwhelmingly to join the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) “We welcome our more than 230 colleagues at Air Georgian and look forward to the contributions they will bring to our union,” said ALPA president, Capt. Tim
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TSB Hits ELT Survivability

The Transportation Safety Board has reiterated its call for improved crash survivability of emergency locator transmitters in its investigation of a 2015 helicopter crash in Ontario. Two people in the Robinson R-44 were killed in the crash, which occurred while the aircraft was being used in a forest spray operation near Foleyet, Ontario, about 100
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Northern Lights Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the Northern Lights Aero Foundation annual awards. People are encouraged to enter their picks for female aviation industry leaders in a variety of categories. “Each year, the national not- for-profit foundation honours outstanding Canadian women who have made a significant contribution to Aviation or Aerospace, and who continue to
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