Union Raises Nav Canada Cutback Concerns

The union that represents air traffic controllers says 80 percent of its members think laying off staff at area control centres and towers across the country will affect public safety. Of the 1,800 controllers in the union, 1,400 responded and 40 percent said they thought the cuts would have a serious impact. Another 39 percent said they would pose a moderate risk. Only two percent said there would be no safety impact. Nav Canada is looking at cutting about 100 controllers from the centres and closing seven towers at small-to-medium sized airports across the country. Already about 1,000 other employees have been laid off.

“The dedicated professionals responsible for ensuring the safety of air transportation in Canada are sounding the alarm, and we’re calling on the government to put a stop to this short-sighted review,” said CATCA President and CEO Doug Best. “Last week, we met with Transport Minister Alghabra to share the survey results and other information about how further layoffs and service reductions would impact the safety and efficiency of our air navigation system, and particularly when air traffic inevitably increases to pre-pandemic levels.”