‘You can smell crude in the air’: Train carrying oil derails near western Manitoba village


CN Rail is working to clean up an oil leak after nearly 40 train cars carrying crude oil derailed near a village in western Manitoba early Saturday morning.

CN crews are responding to the derailment, which occurred at 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning near St. Lazare, about 300 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, a spokesperson from the railway said. 

« You can smell crude in the air. That’s really concerning, » said rancher Jayme Corr. The derailment happened on his property, about 10 kilometres south of St. Lazare, in the rural municipality of Ellice-Archie.

« There’s oil leaking, and where they’re sitting is [near] a water lagoon, » he said.

The derailment happened around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. As of Saturday afternoon, crews were still on scene. (Riley Laychuk/CBC )

Emergency personnel woke Corr up around 5 a.m. Saturday to alert him to the derailment, which happened just under two kilometres from his home.

No injuries or fires reported

Initial reports are that approximately 37 crude oil cars have derailed and that there is a partial leak of crude oil, Jonathan Abecassis, a media relations director for CN, wrote in an email to CBC.

« A perimeter has been set up around the area to facilitate site access. There are no reports of injuries or fires, » he wrote.

« CN crews will be conducting a full site assessment to determine how much product has spilled and exactly how many cars are involved. First responders are on location. »

CN’s environmental team has started cleaning up the area.

Corr said his cattle have since been moved away from the area, but he’s concerned that his main water source for the summertime will now be contaminated.

The train derailed about 10 kilometres south of St. Lazare, in the rural municipality of Ellice-Archie. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

The rancher says he thinks a derailment like Saturday’s has been a long time coming.

« It seems to be the trains go faster, they’re longer, heavier, and the maintenance is getting less and less, » Corr said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has sent investigators to the site of the derailment. 

‘It’s discouraging’

Jean-Paul Chartier, a rural municipality of Ellice-Archie councillor, said staff from the local fire department are on the scene of the derailment, assisting CN crews.

« They’re trying to do their best to get everything contained, and trying to get the traffic going, and trying to clear whatever debris there is, » Chartier said.

Trains frequently run through St. Lazare, and Chartier said he’s thankful the crash didn’t occur closer to the community. In areas of the village, there are houses just hundreds of metres from the tracks, and 30 to 40 trains can travel past each day, he said.

« Every time they come through, you think of the tragedy that happened in Quebec, » he said, referring to the Lac-Mégantic, Que., rail disaster, which killed 47 people after a freight train loaded with fuel exploded.

« It’s discouraging. Like you look at it everyday and you say ‘hopefully it’s not today and hopefully it doesn’t ever happen.’ But you’ve always got it in the back of your mind. »


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Fly there faster? New satellite coverage promises to revolutionize air traffic control


OTTAWA—The aircraft symbols inch their way across the computer monitor — Air France 378 en route from Paris to Detroit; Delta 85, a Boeing 777 headed to Atlanta; and Lufthansa 412, an Airbus A350 flying Munich to Newark.

At first blush, there’s nothing exceptional about the air traffic control display — except for the piece of airspace it depicts.

These aircraft over the North Atlantic are far beyond the range of ground-based radar. What makes this real-time depiction of oceanic air traffic possible is a new constellation of satellites now orbiting the Earth, giving controllers a window on flights they’ve never had before.

It promises to revolutionize air traffic control, providing a view of air traffic in areas such as oceans, deserts, and mountainous and remote regions where ground-based radars are currently unable to provide surveillance.

With improved surveillance comes the promise of more efficient routing, potentially shorter trips and millions of dollars in fuel savings.

“It’s the greatest thing since the advent of radar,” spokesperson Ron Singer said.

Earlier this month, a SpaceX rocket carried the final 10 Iridium satellites into space, completing a constellation of 66 satellites and nine spares in low-earth orbit, to replace an existing network of communications satellites.

Aireon, a U.S. company, saw an opportunity to piggyback technology on the satellites that would be able to track aircraft from space.

The technology utilizes equipment — known as automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B)— now being installed on aircraft that transmits GPS location, altitude, speed and other information.

Those signals are detected by satellites overhead, relayed to ground stations and on to air traffic control agencies.

Nav Canada is a partner in Aireon, along with the air traffic control operations in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Italy. Other agencies are expected to sign on to use the technology to better manage air traffic in their regions.

At a Nav Canada technical centre at Ottawa airport, Steve Bellingham, manager navigation systems engineering for the company, walks a visitor through a demonstration.

On a computer display, he calls up a real-time display of air traffic in Canadian airspace using the satellite data and highlights flights over the ocean — where Nav Canada shares responsibility for air traffic control — and in Canada’s far north that until now has been out of view for controllers.

“These ones for sure we would not see,” he said. “It changes how you do your business.”

Ground-based radar has many limitations. It’s based on line of sight, meaning that anything beyond the horizon is lost to its electronic view. It requires antenna installations, which are costly to build and maintain.

But the main problem is that vast parts of the globe have no radar and hence there’s no accurate picture of the air traffic in these areas.

As a result, to keep aircraft safely separated in these areas, controllers resort to procedures using position reports sent from aircraft via datalink every five or 10 minutes.

It’s not unsafe. But it’s inefficient, with aircraft spaced far apart to provide an extra margin of safety. Space-based ATC will change all that.

“You know exactly where these guys are,” Bellingham said.

“You can have aircraft a lot closer here with confidence than you could when you only getting a report every few minutes.”

Having a more accurate depiction of air traffic will enable aircraft to fly closer together and thus increase the capacity of airspace. It will also allow controllers to better accommodate pilot requests for the best routing and altitude to reduce fuel burn, something that’s not always possible now.

It brings another benefit. Aircraft equipped with the technology will never be out of view, reducing the changes of another Malaysia Flight 370, which went missing in 2014 during a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. It’s presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean but the exact site has never been found.

Over the coming months, Nav Canada controllers will begin putting the space-based data to use, starting with flights over the North Atlantic and Canada’s northern region.

“They’re now getting spooled up on how to take advantage of that space-based ADS-B to provide safe but efficient tracks,” Bellingham said of controllers.

“They’re going to do it phased but from day one, they’re going to be separating aircraft closer than they are today.”

Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier


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Comment utiliser au mieux la nouvelle carte d’abonnement Air France


ESSAI – Depuis le 15 janvier, les modalités d’usage de la carte d’abonnement de la compagnie nationale en France métropolitaine se sont complexifiées. Notre spécialiste a décrypté cette évolution et vous donne les astuces pour éviter les écueils et profiter des avantages.

Souvenons-nous: Air Inter a été une des seules compagnies de transport aérien à proposer une carte d’abonnement permettant de réserver, sur les vols intérieurs, l’itinéraire de son choix à un tarif unique et fixe. Et d’en changer gratuitement, sans formalité. Cet abonnement n’était pas très bon marché, mais sa simplicité satisfaisait amplement les voyageurs d’affaires.

Reprise par Air France, cette carte a ensuite été étendue en 2016 à toutes les destinations d’Europe au départ de la France. Mais avec une différence majeure de ce qui se pratiquait sur les vols intérieurs: fini le tarif unique, les prix variait selon le remplissage du vol à la date de réservation. Et si le passager souhaitait changer son vol, Air France garantissait un nouveau service, le «Go Show», permettant d’obtenir une place sur n’importe quel autre vol le même jour (dans une fourchette des 14 heures précédant ou suivant la réservation d’origine), et sans réajustement tarifaire.


Le système, simple en apparence, s’est avéré cacophonique dans son application. D’abord, l’application Air France ne permettait pas de s’enregistrer comme passager «Go Show», et plus incroyable encore, les services téléphoniques et certaines escales avouaient carrément ne pas être au courant de cet avantage, pourtant payé au prix fort. Aujourd’hui, les agents d’Air France sont plus aguerris.

Pour modifier son vol sans frais, cliquez sur «enregistrement»

Mais les abonnés doivent toujours découvrir les subtilités d’usage afin d’utiliser cette carte au mieux. Par exemple, lorsqu’on souhaite modifier son vol prévu le lendemain à 10h pour prendre celui de 8h, on évitera sur le site ou l’application d’appuyer sur la touche «changer de vol», a priori indiquée dans ce cas de figure, car cela risquerait de provoquer un réajustement tarifaire. À la place, l’astuce consiste à attendre minuit et à cliquer sur «enregistrement» pour pouvoir changer de vol sans frais. Évidemment, il faut le savoir, et le sachant, s’obliger à veiller. En somme, les abonnés européens ont essuyé les plâtres d’un système qui n’était pas encore au point.

Depuis le 15 janvier, ce même système s’applique aux vols intérieurs. Fini le tarif unique! On ne le sait pas assez: en avion ou en train, la moitié des réservations est effectuée dans les sept jours précédant le départ, or, désormais, les 100.000 abonnés doivent anticiper leur achat pour bénéficier de tarifs intéressants, ce qui risque de chambouler les habitudes.

Pour vanter ce changement, Air France met en avant le fait que les vols de milieu de journée ou de début de soirée sont proposés à des tarifs plus avantageux. Mais la compagnie omet de préciser que sa nouvelle politique entraîne aussi une augmentation des tarifs aux heures de pointe. Auparavant, le prix unique des Navettes de Paris vers Nice, Toulouse, Marseille, Bordeaux et Montpellier tournaient autour de 400 € l’aller-retour. Après nos tests, il est apparu qu’aux heures de pointe, il faut débourser jusqu’à plus de 30 %, tandis que les vols de milieu de journée, aux fameux tarifs attractifs, ils se raréfient drastiquement à l’approche de la date de départ. Pour un aller-retour vers Montpellier dans la journée acheté la veille, avec un départ le matin et un retour le soir, les prix varient désormais de 408 à 560 euros, largement supérieurs aux 398 euros d’avant le changement. De même vers Nice, la fourchette s’établit entre 462 à 563 euros, et vers Toulouse de 478 à 633 euros.

Inutile d’aller sur le site hop.fr pour acheter un billet

À une semaine d’un départ vers Toulouse, avec un aller en milieu de journée et un retour le lendemain, nous n’avons trouvé qu’une seule option à 434 euros. En choisissant un départ le matin et un retour le lendemain en fin de journée, les tarifs grimpent cette fois de 489 euros à 604 euros. La démonstration est aussi valable sur Nice ou Montpellier.

Victime collatérale de ces changements: le tarif Flex qui est remboursable. Désormais, selon que vous voyagez en France ou en Europe les avantages ne sont plus les mêmes. S’il est conservé pour l’Europe, le fameux Go Show est supprimé pour le tarif Flex en France.

Par ailleurs, il y a une très grosse différence de prix dans les tarifs Flex selon que vous faites un aller-retour dans la journée, que vous passez la nuit du samedi au dimanche sur place, ou encore que vous restez trois nuits. Dans ces deux derniers cas, la carte d’abonnement n’a aucun intérêt car le prix du tarif Flex est toujours inférieur au tarif abonné. De même, il est inutile d’acheter un aller simple avec une carte d’abonné, il vous est facturé au prix fort, environ 30 % plus cher que le prix que vous auriez payé pour faire ce parcours avec un retour.

Des avantages non négligeables

Dernières recommandations: inutile d’aller sur le site hop.fr pour acheter un billet, ce n’est pas possible, il faut pour cela aller sur le site Airfrance.fr. Malheureusement vous basculez alors sur un vieux système qui ne présente les vols disponibles qu’au jour le jour et par tranche de journée matin midi et soir. Si cela avait peu d’incidences précédemment, car tous les vols étaient au même tarif, aujourd’hui, pour comparer les prix, il faut manuellement consulter les tarifs jour par jour. Ce qui est loin d’être pratique. On nous a promis que cet inconvénient majeur, devrait être corrigé… Mais hélas pas avant l’été prochain.

Terminons sur les avantages car il y en a et ils ne sont pas négligeables, la carte d’abonné offre le parcours Sky Priority qui est un véritable atout, l’achat ou le changement de réservation jusqu’à une heure avant le départ et ce jusqu’au dernier siège disponible. Enfin sur chaque vol effectué en France, l’abonné gagne deux «XP» en plus pour accéder plus rapidement aux meilleurs statuts de Flying Blue.

» Vous pouvez également suivre Le Figaro Voyages sur Facebook et Instagram.


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Air Canada flight diverts to Calgary due to ‘extremely unruly passenger,’ woman taken to hospital


An Air Canada Rouge flight from Toronto had to divert to Calgary due to an “extremely unruly passenger” Thursday night Calgary police said.

Police said the Victoria-bound jet landed in Calgary at around 11 p.m. after passengers had to restrain a woman in flight.

Police said they came aboard and took the woman into custody.

‘Unruly passenger’ arrested after Air Canada flight returns to Toronto

“She was taken to the hospital for observation,” police said. “An investigation is underway to determine if charges should be laid.”

An email from Air Canada media relations confirmed the flight was met by authorities in Calgary and that the flight resumed to Victoria after a three-hour delay.

Watch: From the archives, the launch of Air Canada Rouge


© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Loewe au grand air


La griffe espagnole a dévoilé, pendant la Fashion Week londonienne, une nouvelle ligne masculine pour jeunes urbains en mal de nature et d’aventures.

Loewe, la vénérable maison de cuir espagnole, aurait-elle succombé aux sirènes du gorpcore ? Derrière ce néologisme à la mode, contraction de gorp (en américain, le nom de l’en-cas énergétique emporté pour le trekking) et de normcore (cette esthétique de la banalité), se trouve un phénomène sociologique vulgarisé dans le New York Magazine, dès 2017. L’hebdomadaire américain décrit le penchant, observé chez les moins de 40  ans, pour l’arsenal du baroudeur, coupe-vent, polaire et boots à crampons, conçus pour arpenter les quartiers branchés des grandes villes. «Après le sportswear et le streetwear, les jeunes générations se réapproprient cette mode outdoor, analyse Véronique Elbaz, styliste et dénicheuse de tendances free-lance. La fonctionnalité de ces vêtements, l’implication de longue date de ce secteur textile dans la préservation de l’environnement, ainsi que son design spécifique résonnent avec les préoccupations actuelles, la recherche de confort, de bien-être, et l’avenir de la planète.»

«Après le sportswear et le streetwear, les jeunes générations se réapproprient cette mode outdoor »

Véronique Elbaz, styliste et dénicheuse de tendances free-lance

À première vue, Eye/Loewe/Nature, la nouvelle ligne masculine que Loewe dévoilait, il y a une dizaine de jours pendant la Fashion Week de Londres, reprend tous les codes de ce vestiaire urbain qui fleure bon le grand air et l’aventure. Comme il se doit, les parkas (à partir de 890 euros) sont confectionnées dans des tissus techniques et ultrarésistants. Les pantalons (690 euros), vestes à coulisses et shorts s’inspirent des standards de la mode utilitaire, issue du paquetage militaire et du bleu de travail ouvrier. Les sacs à dos en cuir et toile fabriqués au Japon (à partir de 650 euros) multiplient les poches pour accueillir en-cas, gourde et ordinateur portable. Les pulls et polaires sont en coton recyclé, les sweat-shirts forcément à logo (290 euros). Pour l’occasion, la griffe inaugure le Eye, un nouvel insigne développé par l’agence de graphistes superstars M/M Paris. Le tout dans des tons pop mais portables. De quoi ravir l’homme des métropoles en mal d’évasion. Catégorie dans laquelle s’inscrit le directeur artistique de la maison, Jonathan Anderson, 34 ans.

À l’état sauvage

«J’ai imaginé un personnage robuste aimant le grand air et l’aventure, confie l’Irlandais. N’importe quel citadin ayant passé trop de temps en ville comprendra ce sentiment. Un besoin décrit dans le livre The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot du naturaliste britannique Robert Macfarlane qui m’a aussi beaucoup inspiré. Dans la mesure où nous vivons des vies urbaines de plus en plus agitées, notre désir profond à tous est de retourner à la terre.»

» LIRE AUSSI – Loewe, âge tendre et tête de bois

Au-delà d’un certain opportunisme green, cette ligne est une déclinaison plus accessible et réaliste de la garde-robe masculine très créative (parfois déroutante pour les non-initiés) créée par Anderson depuis son arrivée chez Loewe en 2013. «J’ai pensé chaque accessoire mais aussi chaque vêtement pour qu’il soit fonctionnel, utile à des hommes sans cesse en mouvement, entre ville et campagne», insiste le styliste qui s’est donc inspiré de sa «vision utopique des grands espaces» mais aussi de ses propres envies. Et pour incarner cette nouvelle panoplie et surtout «la tester en conditions réelles», il a choisi le jeune acteur anglais Josh O’Connor photographié sur le littoral sauvage de cap de Creus, sur la Costa Brava espagnole.


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Air Canada, Air France : la sécurité informatique de 141 compagnies aériennes compromise par une vulnérabilité


Une vulnérabilité dans le système de réservation de vols Amadeus, utilisé par des centaines de millions de voyageurs dans le monde chaque année, exposait jusqu’à récemment au moins 141 compagnies aériennes au piratage des informations de leurs passagers.

L’expert en sécurité informatique Noam Rotem en a fait l’annonce mardi (Nouvelle fenêtre), après avoir collaboré avec Amadeus pour régler le problème. D’après le spécialiste, la faille concernait les données des dossiers passagers (PNR, pour Passenger Name Record), un ensemble d’informations sur les voyageurs qui sont créées lors d’une réservation.

Une personne mal intentionnée aurait pu se servir d’un problème associé aux PNR pour changer le nom ou l’adresse de résidence d’un passager après une réservation, lui assigner des sièges différents, obtenir ses informations de carte de crédit ou se faire créditer des points de récompense.

Les PNR sont partagés entre les systèmes informatiques des compagnies aériennes, des services de réservation et des services frontaliers des pays visités afin d’identifier les voyageurs et assurer la sécurité aérienne et nationale.

Noam Rotem a programmé un script capable de générer au hasard des PNR et de les vérifier ensuite sur le site web des compagnies aériennes. Selon lui, aucun système de sécurité n’était en place pour détecter qu’un système automatisé testait des dizaines de numéros par minute.

Amadeus dit avoir colmaté la brèche découverte par l’expert en informatique. « À Amadeus, nous accordons la priorité à la sécurité et nous assurons une surveillance et une mise à jour constantes de nos systèmes », a indiqué l’entreprise à Safety Detective, un média spécialisé avec lequel Noam Rotem a collaboré dans cette affaire. « Nos équipes techniques ont agi immédiatement et nous pouvons maintenant confirmer que le problème est réglé. »

Noam Rotem estime toutefois que les systèmes du genre resteront vulnérables aux attaques tant et aussi longtemps que les PNR continueront d’être utilisés. Ces données suivent des normes internationales établies par l’Association internationale du transport aérien et leur modification nécessiterait donc un consensus mondial.

La liste des compagnies aériennes touchées par le problème n’a pas été publiée. Le court rapport disponible sur le site web de Safety Detective indique seulement que la faille existait dans les systèmes des « 141 compagnies aériennes utilisant Amadeus », incluant Air Canada, Air France, United Airlines et Lufthansa. Le site web d’Amadeus mentionne toutefois que l’entreprise fait affaire avec plus de 200 compagnies aériennes.


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Canadian air traffic controllers send pizzas to U.S. counterparts working without pay


Air traffic controllers from Atlantic Canada directed a fleet of special arrivals into the New York Air Traffic Control Centre on Friday night, as a gesture of solidarity and respect.

And each was covered in a layer of gooey melted cheese.

The Canadian Air Traffic Controller Association units in Gander, N.L., and Moncton, N.B., ordered pizzas for all of their colleagues at the control centre in New York, who have been working without pay since the partial U.S. government shutdown began on Dec. 22.

U.S. President Donald Trump wants $5.7 billion to build a border wall with Mexico, and says he won’t put through a bill to cover the cost of operating parts of the government until he gets it. The Democrats have put forward a funding bill, but don’t support the wall. 

« It’s been so overwhelmingly negative and it’s nice to see that there’s solidarity out there. There’s people out there who are just saying, ‘Hey, I work with you as a friend or a colleague and here’s a nice gesture of friendship, that we care,' » said David Lombardo, a former air traffic controller who lives in Long Island and runs a social media site for people in the industry.

He posted a notice to Reddit ​about the impending pizza arrival seen in the hallways of the New York control centre. 

« Aviation is a really tight-knit group of people, it’s like a family. And plus, it goes against the whole rhetoric here that we’re talking about because it’s an international boundary! »

Sometimes solidarity comes with a soft crust and a layer of melted cheese. (Dave Lombardo/Reddit)

Air traffic controllers provide essential services and are unable to suspend work or take any other job action during the government shutdown, he said. As a result, with no other government services running, they’re working without paycheques.

« They’re worried about their mortgages, their medical bills. It’s one thing to have a date set and say, ‘Hey you’re going to get your back pay in a week or two,’ but they have absolutely no idea when they’re going to get paid, And you can imagine that’s pretty disheartening and pretty scary for many people. »

A Canada-wide effort

The pizza-delivering task force from the Gander and Moncton crews is part of a national effort on behalf of Canadian air traffic controllers to show support for their American counterparts, said Peter Duffey, president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA). 

Duffey said local unions have been asking the national union what they could do to help since the U.S. government shutdown began. On Thursday evening, controllers in Edmonton had the idea to send pizzas across the border to controllers in Alaska.

It snowballed from there. As of Sunday morning, Canadian units have sent pizzas to 35 different units in the U.S.

« This is as grassroots as it gets, with our members just jumping on board this like crazy, » he said. « I couldn’t be more proud of what my members are doing. »

‘We’re all taking care of the skies over North America’

Duffey echoed Lombardo’s sentiment that air traffic controllers keep each other close, even though they don’t work side-by-side and often only hear each other’s voices in headsets.

« We always stand together, especially with our American counterparts, » he said. « Our members just want to reach out to those people that they consider to be co-workers. We’re all taking care of the skies over North America. »

Canadian air traffic controllers have been sending pizzas to control towers and centres in the U.S. to show solidarity with their American colleagues, who are working for free. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The nature of the job also builds a strong bond, he said.

« We always say that we have to be 100 per cent correct, 100 per cent of the time, with zero room for error. That’s the nature of our job. To have somebody have to report to work with the added pressure of knowing they’re now into their second period of work with no paycheque, they don’t need that kind of added stress and pressure. We just want to send them a message that says, ‘Hey we’re with you, we stand with you, and we’re sorry that this is happening to you.' »

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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Canadian air travellers to get compensation for delays, cancellations


OTTAWA—The federal government is rolling out new rules to ensure compensation for travellers bumped off flights, hit by delays and cancellations or suffer lost bags.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau was scheduled to announce the proposed rules Monday morning at a news conference at Ottawa International Airport.

  • Compensation of up to $2,400 if a passenger is denied boarding because an airline has over-booked the flight and is delayed reaching their destination.
  • A requirement that airlines enable parents to sit close to their children at no extra charge.

However, there’s a catch. Airlines won’t be required to pay compensation for delays or cancellations caused by “safety related” issues. That language does not exist in the European Union passenger protection legislation.

Scott Streiner, chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency, said the airline pressed the agency to ensure that the compensation levels were not “punitive.”

The legislation will also set out a requirement that airlines communicate in a “simple, clear” way with passengers the reasons for delays and cancellations and their rights.

“Passengers will have the right to regular updates,” Streiner told a briefing Monday.

The move comes after months of work by the Canadian Transportation Agency. It hopes to have the rules in force by the summer after a final round of consultations.

Read more:

Pilot of Air Transat flight tells hearing that 6-hour tarmac delay was the lesser of two evils

Air Transat ordered to pay expenses for passengers stuck on tarmac in Ottawa for hours

Work on passenger protection rights were spurred along by an incident in 2017 when two Air Transat flights diverted to Ottawa because of bad weather. The jets were stuck on the tarmac for hours and passengers were not allowed off the aircraft.

The new rules will require airlines to have policies to govern how passengers are treated during extended tarmac delays. That will include access to washrooms, food and drink and proper ventilation. If a tarmac delay stretches three hours or more, the aircraft would be required to return to the terminal to allow travellers to disembark.

Streiner said that the agency looked to other jurisdictions, notably the European Union when it crafted the regulations.

The EU rules apply to airlines based in the EU or those operating from EU countries, such as an Air Canada flight departing London’s Heathrow airport.

It requires airlines to compensate passengers for flight delays and cancellations, overbooking and lost bags. For example, if a flight is delayed by more than three hours, travellers are entitled to compensation, up to around $900 each on trips more than 3,500 kilometres.

It also sets that airlines should provide passengers with assistance during a delay that includes refreshments, accommodation and access to telephone calls and emails.

Under the EU model, airlines do not have to provide compensation if they can show the problem was due to “extraordinary” circumstances.

Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier


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New Air Jordan 11 Concord sneakers hit shelves in Calgary – Calgary


It’s the most anticipated day on the sneakerhead calendar: Air Jordan release day.

On Saturday, the Air Jordan 11 Concords went on sale, ushering in the latest generation of the iconic sneakers.

In Calgary, stores at CF Chinook Centre did away with the lineups that usually precede these types of releases. Instead, a raffle was held and those with a winning ticket were guaranteed the chance to purchase the $300 sneakers. If shoes went unclaimed by the afternoon, they were fair game.

Francesca Costelo was lucky enough to have her name selected and said the latest Air Jordans will make a nice addition to her collection.

“Jordan 11s are probably the biggest drop of the year,” said Costelo. “It’s something that everyone looks forward to.”

As of 4 p.m., both stores in Chinook were sold out of all adult sizes.

Teen surprises high school janitor with new Air Jordan sneakers: ‘I got 4 kids, I can’t shop for myself’

This year’s model pays homage to the original Air Jordans that Michael Jordan wore during his return to basketball in 1995.

The 11 Concords feature a number 45 on the heel, a nod to the number Jordan chose to wear after being told he couldn’t bring back his retired number, 23.

Adam Keresztes, co-founder of Calgary sneaker community YYCSOLEdiers, is excited to see a sneaker that throws back to the original Jordans.

“The shoe is very unique,” said Keresztes. “It came with patent leather. [Jordan] wanted it to be a dress shoe that’s also a basketball shoe with the best technology.”

Keresztes said YYCSOLEdiers do what they can to introduce sneakers to a wider audience but the price tag can sometimes get in the way.

Sneakernomics: The buying and selling of sneakers

“I definitely know people that will forgo eating to buy sneakers,” said Keresztes, “but we never advocate buying shoes over anything else.”

YYCSOLEdiers organizes sneaker swaps throughout the year for rookie and veteran collectors to buy, trade and talk shoes.

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Fighter jet delays fuelling exodus of pilots from Air Force, insiders say


OTTAWA—The oft-delayed purchase of new fighter jets is contributing to a flight of pilots out of the Air Force to the civilian sector, causing a critical shortage of skilled aviators to fly Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s, insiders say.

Flying a 30-year-old jet holds less appeal for pilots who are no longer prepared to sacrifice quality of life and are instead quitting for airline careers, where demand for experienced personnel is sky-high.

The rush out the door has left the Royal Canadian Air Force coping with less experienced pilots flying increasingly outdated jets, former fighter pilots tell the Star.

“It’s not a winning proposition,” one veteran former pilot told the Star.

In a recent report, the auditor general turned a spotlight on the crisis, noting that the Air Force only had 64 per cent of the CF-18 pilots it needs. Between April 2016 and March 2018, 40 fighter pilots left and the Air Force was only able to train 30 new ones. Since then, 17 more pilots have indicated they are out the door.

If that pace continues, there won’t be enough experienced pilots to train new ones and the Air Force won’t be able to meet its obligations to NATO and NORAD, the report said.

The Star spoke to several former fighter pilots about the situation. They spoke on background because of sensitivities around their current jobs.

They say several factors are at play in the exodus of pilots. These include exasperation over the delayed purchase of replacement jets that are now not expected for a decade or more, as well as a desire for better quality of life away from the two main fighter bases in Cold Lake, Alta., and Bagotville, Que.

But the biggest factor is the huge demand for pilots across Canada and the world, offering military pilots an easy path to the cockpits of commercial airliners.

“There’s not enough pilots globally … so companies are very aggressive in recruiting wherever they can find them. Military pilots are prime candidates, so they get offered good deals and off they go,” one former pilot said.

The broader pilot shortage problem could soon be the topic of parliamentary study. Liberal MP Steve Fuhr, a former Air Force pilot who flew the CF-18, has proposed a motion to have the Commons transport committee examine the challenges facing flight schools in training new pilots.

Speaking to the motion earlier this month, Fuhr (Kelowna-Lake Country) said the industry-wide shortage is already having an effect on the civilian sector and the military, and noted that Canada could be short 3,000 pilots by 2025.

“As the pilot shortage percolates up, both scheduled and nonscheduled commercial air service will be negatively affected,” Fuhr told a meeting of the committee on Nov. 21.

The CF-18s were last deployed in a combat role in Iraq against Daesh, and remain potent fighters. Able to fly at almost twice the speed of sound, they continue to hold appeal for young military pilots.

But delays in purchasing new fighters, first by the Conservative government and now the Liberals, means replacement aircraft are 10 years or more away. With no prospect of flying the next generation of fighter, some pilots see little incentive to stick around and are opting to quit the Armed Forces when their flying tours are complete.

“They make the calculation that I’m never going to fly anything other than an old 40-year-old F-18 in my entire career,” the former pilot said.

However, another veteran pilot downplayed the delayed procurement as a reason for the departures. “Realistically, I don’t think that’s driving people out the door,” he said.

After two tours of flying — typically about six years — pilots usually move to a desk job. That’s the point where military pilots who are keen to keep flying decide to jump to the private sector, which offers the promise of a good career and the chance to live closer to big cities.

“That’s why guys get out. What’s ultimately driving them out is opportunity,” he said.

Whatever the reason, the departures are hitting the RCAF hard. The Air Force has 76 CF-18s and just over 100 pilots qualified to fly them, insiders say. As a result, having almost 60 quit the forces in just over two years marks a huge loss in experience, they say.

The former Air Force veterans stressed that training is good and that the young pilots arriving at the front-line squadrons are well-qualified. Yet they are considered “minimum combat-ready,” able to initially fly only as wingmen and require another one or two years of experience to be considered qualified to fly all missions and serve as flight leaders.

“That’s the danger of this cycle. They’re not regenerating the same numbers as they’re losing,” the pilot said. “The experience level is dropping … With that goes an increase in risk.”

By the time they are replaced, the CF-18s will have been in the Air Force fleet for almost half a century, 30 years longer than planned. The auditor general noted that it’s been 10 years since there was any significant upgrade to their combat capabilities. The Air Force had been relying on the experience of its pilots to overcome shortfalls caused by the age of the aircraft.

“You can still fight OK with an old jet if you have very, very skilled individuals flying it. We invest a lot in our training and therefore our people are very capable, adaptive, innovative,” the pilot said.

“The problem is that those guys are leaving,” he said.

In response to the auditor general findings, Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger, commander of the RCAF, said the Air Force is taking steps to help retain aircrews, including measures to improve the quality of life along with changes to how the Air Force trains its pilots to give it “greater flexibility to better meet future personnel demands.”

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Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier


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