The RCAF says it’s reconfigured two C-177 Globemasters to ferry people escaping Afghanistan but they’re taking less than half the number of people on each trip than U.S. C-17s out of safety concerns. On the first flight out of Kabul on Thursday, Global News said its sources said there were 198 evacuees on board and there were discussions about limiting the capacity according to the number of seatbelts on board. The Americans are cramming 400 people on their flights by filling up the floor of the cargo hold.
A C-17 has a maximum payload of 170,000 pounds so physical space and emergency egress are the limiting factors when carrying evacuees. The RCAF says it has reached a deal with the U.S. to carry out two flights a day from Kabul. Canadian citizens, Afghans who worked with Canada and other foreign nationals are on the flights. Although the U.S. controls the airport and air traffic control, the Taliban is deciding who can get to the airport and those numbers are limited. “Unless the Taliban shift their posture significantly, which is something the international community and Canada are working on, it is going to be very, very difficult to get many people out,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.