Evidence of meeting #117 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was airports.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Sara Wiebe  Director General, Air Policy, Department of Transport
Neil Wilson  President and Chief Executive Officer, NAV CANADA
Jonathan Bagg  Senior Manager, Public Affairs, NAV CANADA
Joseph Szwalek  Regional Director, Civil Aviation - Ontario, Department of Transport
Nicholas Robinson  Director General, Civil Aviation, Department of Transport
Martin Massé  Vice-President, Public Affairs, Aéroports de Montréal
Bob Sartor  President, Calgary Airport Authority
Anne Murray  Vice-President, Airline Business Development and Public Affairs, Vancouver Airport Authority
Anne Marcotte  Director, Public Relations, Aéroports de Montréal
Matt Jeneroux  Edmonton Riverbend, CPC
Churence Rogers  Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, Lib.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Is the amount that was divulged the correct amount?

9:25 a.m.

Director General, Air Policy, Department of Transport

Sara Wiebe

I think the GTAA is appearing before you at a later date. I think that's a question that would be more specifically answered by them.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Thank you.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Judy Sgro

Mr. Sikand, go ahead.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Thank you.

I'm going to move quite quickly, as I'm trying to share some of my time with my colleague.

We often hear about reports from companies in England, and we hear about the model of Frankfurt. I am a proponent of learning best practices, but, as Mr. Wilson alluded to, Canada is pretty amazing. We have unique challenges, and I'd like to focus on those. What are the unique challenges that Canada faces when it comes to noise abatement?

9:25 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, NAV CANADA

Neil Wilson

Yes, we are amazing.

We have some aspects that are unique, but we can learn a lot from others. I talked about the study that's been requested. The group that we commissioned to do that, we commissioned them because they had done a study on the same issue around Gatwick, in the U.K. We know we can learn from best practices there.

We are unique in terms of the mix of the aircraft fleet that we have to service. My colleague spoke about some of the technology we're using. There are some limitations because we have an interesting fleet mix in Canada. Some of the fleet is equipped very well to take advantage of some of the technology that will allow for continuous descent, and some of it is not there yet. We have a mix of large and small. We have a very large general aviation community in Canada, general being private pilots whom we equally have to service and make sure that we take care of. What is unique about Canada is really the mix of the fleet and who wants to fly into our airports.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Thank you. I'm just going to jump in here.

Mr. Cushnie, you mentioned new technologies that are being implemented at Pearson. What were you referring to?

9:25 a.m.

Blake Cushnie

As part of all the work we've done in the six initiatives, which perhaps the GTAA will talk about, we're working on leveraging the accuracy of satellite navigation that's on board a lot of aircraft today to guide the airplanes to the runway, particularly at night, as far away from people as possible. What we see is that as we run on the final approach it becomes a different challenge, but we're trying to use this technology to the best of our advantage to be a leader in noise mitigation.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Great. Thank you.

I represent a riding just outside Pearson. It's a seven-minute drive on a good day, and maybe an hour and a half in traffic. I've always been a proponent of having an airport north of the escarpment of Milton, Brampton and Mississauga. It just makes good sense to me. Could I get some comments from Transport Canada on the implications of this?

9:25 a.m.

Director General, Air Policy, Department of Transport

Sara Wiebe

Thank you for the question.

This is, again, another one of those areas of balance we always try to achieve. We have these large airports to which cargo operators and passengers want to fly. As I think Mr. Wilson referred to earlier, we are not in the business of telling aircraft or passengers or cargo where they must fly. Again, I think this is something the GTAA could speak to a bit more when they appear before you.

That said, in our view the GTAA has done a very good job in terms of developing a collaborative engagement with the smaller airports in the region, including Hamilton and Waterloo, to talk about the moment when they will reach saturation and there will be a need to better manage those flows. But, again, given that our air sector in Canada is market-driven, it's impossible to force these movements in one direction or another.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Thank you.

Just because I want to share my time, I need a yes or no for the next question.

Do you have the mandate to accommodate such growth?

9:25 a.m.

Director General, Air Policy, Department of Transport

Sara Wiebe

Again, the growth is driven by the market. What we try to do is develop policy frameworks that allow for that growth to occur.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Okay, thank you.

I'll share my time with Mr. Wrzesnewskyj.

9:25 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Thank you.

Mr. Szwalek, I'd like to have clarity on a response you made in regard to the night flights increase in budget 2013. You said that the request went to the minister, to Transport Canada. Could you just clarify?

9:30 a.m.

Regional Director, Civil Aviation - Ontario, Department of Transport

Joseph Szwalek

What ended up happening was that the Greater Toronto Airports Authority had asked for a bump-up for the plans for long-term growth of the airport. It came to the minister. It was dealt with in the region for that—

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Okay, I need clarity and not a long answer.

Was it the minister or the regional authority—I guess your predecessor—or maybe you who signed off on that?

9:30 a.m.

Regional Director, Civil Aviation - Ontario, Department of Transport

Joseph Szwalek

It was signed off on by the director general in the region, for the bump-up.

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Was it authorized by the minister?

9:30 a.m.

Regional Director, Civil Aviation - Ontario, Department of Transport

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

I would ask Transport Canada to provide documentation to the committee that will provide us with clarity on the decision-making around this.

I'd like to turn to Nav Canada. You talked about the environmental carbon footprint reduction. What does that mean in terms of fuel savings in jet fuel for the airlines?

9:30 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, NAV CANADA

Neil Wilson

In broad strokes, it means that whatever we can do to assist the airlines in reducing their fuel burn has a positive impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

The airlines are very happy about reducing their carbon footprint because it means significant reduction in their jet fuel costs.

9:30 a.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, NAV CANADA

Neil Wilson

They are, and we all are.

October 30th, 2018 / 9:30 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Excellent.

I have a couple of questions that go back to accountability. The deck provided to the committee says that Nav Canada and local airports “are committed to a public participation process that provides the community with factual and accurate information before and after a change is implemented.” Was the community consulted or informed before and after the night flight increase in budget 2013?

9:30 a.m.

Senior Manager, Public Affairs, NAV CANADA

Jonathan Bagg

The proponent of that change would be the GTAA, and they'd be better positioned to respond to that question.