The state of aviation is alarming
THE WHITEHORSE STAR
Ed. note: this is a letter to federal Transport Minister Jean Lapierre.
I would have liked to thank you for responding to my complaint. I am trying to find your words logical, let alone reassuring.
Did you read it? It seems to be OK, according to you, for some people to pay for government service while others get it for free.
The flying situation in Canada is becoming alarming. Here is a description of the situation you have now endorsed here in Yukon, and a situation I am sure is repeated in all other Canadian communities:
1. There are fewer airplanes parked at Yukon airports now than at anytime in the past 20 years.
2. There are more Transport Canada inspectors in Whitehorse than at any time in our past... and your office is still growing. Where one person used to give us quick and professional service a few years ago, you now have four people, and more coming.
3. Despite this growth in your office, we are now forced to pay for private inspectors to come up from down south to do many aircraft inspections. Your policy is that we can expect to wait at least two months from the time of our formal written request for the service.
4. At least once every month or so, Transport Canada arrives from down south, in government King Airs and Twin Otters and other fancy aircraft, that are then left parked here at the airport for days at a time.
5. Any of the business public who you care to ask have tales of weeks-long delays waiting for minor wording edits to authorities or permissions you require, of bureaucratic contradictions and changes to already-approved documents that all cause delays and curtail business.
6. Across the country, licence fees have escalated exponentially.
Arbitrary administrative fees have been created for doing any kind of paperwork. There is even an annual fee for services simply for having a Canadian aircraft listed on your registry.
I pay for:
For having an aircraft listed.
For processing my semi-annual medical.
For each and every landing.
For each and every night my aircraft sits at an airport.
7. Weather forecasts, radio communication, flight planning, runway clearing, security have been reduced and turned over to municipalities, provinces, arm's-length boards or agencies, or public volunteers.
8. Violations of any of your administrative "safety" requirements are processed through a quasi-legal kangaroo court.
9. No one in Transport Canada is able to give any definitive answer to any question about the requirements to comply with any section of the CARs. (If you don't believe me, just try to get something approved.)
10. If asked for help in understanding all this, your policy is that Transport Canada staff refuse to attend all public meetings unless all questions that will be asked are submitted, in writing, to Transport Canada well ahead of time.
What conclusions can any objective person who sees all this come to? I used to be puzzled, but a logical conclusion is possible after I did a quick review of the case law history of your department.
I notice that in Swanson vs. Canada (1992) 1 F.C. 408 (CA), your inspectors were found guilty of not doing their jobs and thereby responsible in causing six deaths.
The connection might be fairly obvious. Since then:
You, the minister, have since reduced your personal liability. (There are now far more possible liable entities between you and the victims in any court action... you have allocated responsibility to others.)
You are spending more tax money on "aircraft safety." (You can argue you are doing more than ever.)
You have more people than ever working on "aircraft safety." (You can argue again you are doing more than ever.)
By implementing your kangaroo tribunal, you can claim "convictions" and "enforcement statistics" on situations that would never fly in an actual criminal court. You can also legally modify the rules to control the admission of evidence.
By changing the focus of your safety and enforcement programs to obtuse administrative requirements, you switch the scrutiny to issues that have a "paper trail" protecting the department.
There are more rules governing aviation than ever before (a quick look through CARs reveals there are as many rules governing the paperwork requirements of aviating as there are governing the aviating itself.
Many of us flew with Wapiti Aviation in the '70s and many of us who survived have flown with comparable companies in the '90s. So what has changed?
The government offices are bigger, the bookshelves are bigger, there are more bureaucrats, but there are fewer airplanes.
I and other Canadians would like to see the auditor general have a good look at the inside of this situation.
Sir Isaac Newton knew physics. He taught us that "an object in motion tends to remain in motion...."
Using his principles, we can look at an entity, recognize its direction and speed, and accurately estimate its location at some given time in the future.
Looking at aviation in Canada, it is safe to forecast no private aviation within 20 years, and government-controlled commercial aviation only within 30 years.
In 2025, when aviation in this country is finally reduced to one major commercial carrier, and private aviation has been eliminated entirely, how big will your bureaucracy be then?
J. George Balmer
The last flying taxpayer
<TEHEHE> So true.. Should have emphasized the fact that they just have 4 people but neither offer quick nor professional service..CD wrote: 2. There are more Transport Canada inspectors in Whitehorse than at any time in our past... and your office is still growing. Where one person used to give us quick and professional service a few years ago, you now have four people, and more coming.
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He's right. Long gone are the days when a kid with a problem could walk into the regional office, tell the receptionist his dillemma and be whisked into an office for an understanding chat, a brief admonishment, and emerge with his licence and dignity intact.
The increase in user fees is astronomical, and the service that goes with it has gone dramatically downhill. It is now cheaper for me to fly a CCP to the arctic for three rides, or three candidates for me to ride, than it is to get an inspector to come up. God forbid that the ride go over 4:30 PM.
While there are a number of inspectors who merit my respect, (and are indeed welcome anytime) the policy mandarins and empire builders have taken over the asylum.
No freekin kidding......2 people in a king air from who knows where.....absolute waste of money in my eyes. Even premiers don't get to travel on government A/C. who the hell do they think they are??just the cost of the fuel to get from A to B costs more than an airline ticket.
The terrorists are among us. What is next?....Brownshirts?
I briefly worked computers for the government before getting into aviation, and I was on a "term" position. I asked why can't I be on fulltime as its more comforting.. I was told we don't have the money allocated to put you fulltime, but we are allocated the money for the term.