Industry continues pressuring government to put profits ahead of passenger safety

Operators’ calls for more delays and weakened rules, if successful, would put air crews, passengers and public at risk

MISSISSAUGA – The Air Canada Pilots Association noted a number of errors in today’s press conference in Ottawa held by a number of air operators and industry associations.

“Transport Canada is proceeding with fatigue rules which are not supported by an important area of science, for duty that begins in the evening hours. It is ironic that the government’s weakened position has been justified by industry pressure – like that on display today from airline operators,” said Milt Isaacs, CEO, Air Canada Pilots Association.

Instead, Transport Canada appears set to adopt watered-down regulations that would continue to see Canadian pilots fly for up two hours longer at night than what science recommends – leaving them in the precarious situation of operating into and even landing passenger aircraft in that window of circadian low.

Contrary to this discussion earlier today, the record reflects the following:
  • Transport Canada convened a working group that included both operators, associations, pilot groups and the regulator in 2010. This group agreed upon the scientific basis for their consideration of flight crew fatigue management. They delivered a formal report in 2012.
  • In 2014, the previous government published a Notice of Proposed Amendment, based on the working group’s input. In one important area, for flights that depart in the evening hours – in which pilots’ duty periods would encroach on the so-called “window of circadian low” and where impairment from fatigue is most likely to occur – the 2014 NPA did not align with fatigue science.
  • In 2015, following a period of intense industry pressure by many of the same groups represented today, the government further weakened the proposed fatigue rules, especially for duty periods that begin in the evening hours where science has demonstrated impairment from fatigue is most likely to occur.
  • Following the publication of proposed fatigue rules in Canada Gazette I in July 2017, the government appears set to further weaken these rules, including extending the implementation timeline for large operators from 12 months to 24 months. That would see Canadian travelers continue to be exposed to fatigue rules that are more than 20 years out of date, out of sync with most other jurisdictions until, at best 2020 (2022 for smaller operators).
  • Despite assertions to the contrary, there have been a number of accidents and incidents where fatigue has been cited as a contributing factor.
“Science-based policy making should not be held hostage to those segments of the airline industry who would rather maximize profits instead of safety,” said Mr. Isaacs. “In fact, Minister Garneau has refused to adopt the labour-industry consensus that we reached with Air Canada, instead opting to cave into pressure from the more hardline elements of the airline industry.”

About ACPA
The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) represents more than 3,700 commercial pilots who fly millions of passengers across Canada and around the world on Air Canada and Air Canada rouge. For more information, visit

The Air Canada Pilots Association is a proud member of the Safer Skies Coalition of 9,000 pilots in Canada who are advocating for stronger fatigue rules for greater safety. For more information, visit
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Published on:Publié :
Apr 25, 201825 Apr 2018

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