26 March 2011

Engage the Election Candidates for GA

By Kevin Psutka

The federal election presents an opportunity for members to engage the candidates on their awareness of and support for GA.

The pressure on GA airports is reaching a critical level where real damage will be done to the national air transportation infrastructure from such developments as the closure of Toronto’s Buttonville and Edmonton’s City Centre airports. Regional and smaller airports are being neglected by several levels of government, thanks to the National Airports Policy (NAP), whose goal was to offload the airport system to local interests. The NAP’s fundamental assumption is that community leaders can make decisions about their airports that are in the best interest of the users of the airport and with consideration for the national network of airports. In fact, this assumption is proving to not be the case as many communities are neglecting their transportation asset or actively pursuing closure options.

I encourage everyone to contact the candidates (find your candidates here) and ask the following question:

“Given the important role that smaller airports play for linking our vast country together and for training pilots and maintenance personnel for the air transportation industry, and given that the National Airports Policy has resulted in a significant deterioration of the air transportation infrastructure, will you support a review of the National Airports Policy with a view to creating an adequate and sustainable network of large and small airports?”

Ask for a written response and copy me on anything that you receive. If I get enough input from members, I intend to produce a list of candidates and their positions on our web site just prior to the election date to help members with their election choice. For those who receive a positive response, I encourage you to follow up after the election to remind election winners of their commitment.

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