ALPA Reps Give Senate Insights into Remote Ops
Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA’s
Canada Board president, and Capt. Peter Black, chairman of ALPA’s President’s
Committee for Remote Operations (PCRO), today appeared before Canada’s Standing
Senate Committee on Transport and Communications to brief the committee on the
challenges airline pilots face when flying in remote areas, ways to enhance the
safety of these types of operations, and improve service to those remote
The Senate committee has recently focused on issues concerning operations in
northern and similarly remote areas as part of its ongoing study on emerging
issues related to the Canadian airline industry, and ALPA was invited to share
the Association’s insights and provide technical expertise on these issues.
“As air traffic in this region is bound to see a steady increase, it becomes
ever more challenging to ensure the same high level of safety that airline
operations must have,” Adamus said, in recognizing that the North is of growing
interest to a broad range of industry stakeholders.
In his remarks, Adamus outlined several areas of interest
identified by ALPA to ensure “one level of safety” as northern operations expand
in the coming years. “ALPA has been in the vanguard of aviation safety for many
years and we are convinced that the current, thorough certification processes of
NAV CANADA, joined with those of Transport Canada, need to continue to safely
develop critical air navigation, communication, and airport infrastructure now
and in the future to safely serve the communities above the 60th parallel and
other remote regions” he said.
Adamus and Black stressed the benefits of the latest generation of GPS-based
procedures, which provide flight crews with information that allows them to
conduct a constant, stabilized descent to the runway. They emphasized that for
this technology to be really effective in improving services to a community,
airport infrastructures need to be upgraded concurrently, which requires
They urged increased financial support from the federal government through
such programs as the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP). ALPA believes
that the eligibility criteria for the program should be expanded to include
airport surveys needed to support better instrument approach capabilities, and
the amount of available funding should be increased significantly in view of the
extra costs associated with construction and survey work in the North.
ALPA will continue to provide its technical expertise and pilot perspectives
to the Senate committee as it continues its review.