FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2009
Consumers’ Association of Canada expresses concerns about safety issues, neglect of air travelers needs at Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver – The Consumers’ Association of Canada is expressing concern about safety issues at Vancouver International Airport and neglect of the needs of air travelers at one of Canada’s busiest airports.
Bruce Cran, CAC National President, says a recent decision to dismiss effective March 1 the experienced wildlife control officers who prevent dangerous bird strikes like the one that downed an Airbus 320 in New York in January is inexplicable.
“It’s particularly worrisome that the experienced wildlife control officers who have been patrolling YVR successfully for years will be replaced on Sunday March 1 with new workers who will be part-time and casual,” Cran says. “When Vancouver International Airport has millions of birds to deal with I can’t see how this makes any sense.”
And Cran says an incident where a business jet went off the runway after its nose gear collapsed when it hit plowed snow in early January is also troubling.
“Vancouver International Airport seems to be more concerned about increasing its shopping and dining facilities and aquariums than dealing with the most important issue of all – the safety of all air travelers,” Cran said.
Cran said air travel consumers where also extremely inconvenienced when Vancouver International Airport was unable to deal with snowstorms in the busy December-January holiday season, forcing the cancellation of many flights.
“Air travelers at Vancouver International Airport did not receive the kind of snow removal and de-icing services that a major airport in a cold weather climate simply has to provide,” Cran said. “It’s inexcusable that so many thousands of people were completely inconvenienced and stranded at a time when they expect to visit family and friends.”
Cran said the Consumers’ Association of Canada believes that the current structure of Vancouver International Airport’s Airport Authority is a problem.
“The Airport Authority is not responsible to any level of government – that’s why it can get away with making decisions that are not in consumers’ best interests,” Cran said. “It’s time the federal government revisited the structure and made changes to ensure full accountability and responsibility for such an important part of our economy.”
For more information: Bruce Cran – 604-418-8359