Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Canada’s air travel industry is urging the federal government to pull back on its plan to impose rigid new limits on how long commercial pilots are allowed to keep flying.

Transport Canada is expected to unveil new regulations in the coming months that will determine how long pilots can remain at the controls without a break — the first such update in more than 20 years.

The change, meant to address lingering concerns about pilot fatigue, has been welcomed by pilots’ unions and others who say safety standards in Canada have fallen behind many other countries around the world.

But the Air Transportation Association of Canada and the Helicopter Association of Canada, which represent many of the country’s smaller passenger and cargo carriers, fear the new limits will go too far.

They say proposed regulations unveiled last year suggest carriers will be forced to hire more pilots, increasing costs and affecting their ability to provide affordable services, particularly in the north.

The associations say tired pilots are not a crisis in Canada, and while some changes are necessary, Transport Canada should consult with all stakeholders to figure out a better approach.

The Canadian Press

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