Canadian airports seeing delays, cancellations due to shortage of air traffic controllers

Canada Travel. Representational image by Wikimedia Commons

#CanadianAirports; #Delays; #cancellations; #ShortageOfAirTrafficControllers

Toronto/CMEDIA: Shortage of air traffic controllers reportedly by Canadian airports has  been causing delays as well as cancellation of some flights.

Nav Canada, the corporation that oversees the country’s air traffic controllers, is being pressured by Canada’s federal transport minister Omar Alghabra to find solutions to staffing problems affecting passenger flights.

“I am having regular conversations with the CEO of Nav Canada, including one this week, to keep asking him for an update on the status of their staffing operations,” Alghabra was reported to say. 

Nav Canada has admitted that personnel shortages have caused some summer flight delays.

“We do certainly acknowledge the fact that we have had some staffing-related challenges,” said Marie-Pier Berman, Nav Canada’s vice-president and chief of operations, adding  that presently more than 400 new employees are being trained by Nav Canada with hopes to increase that number.  

Unlike in the United States, Canada lacks the availability of any publicly available data that breaks down why or how many flights are delayed, but the president of the Canadian Airports Council, Monette Pasher says the number of delays caused by a lack of air traffic controllers has been noteworthy.

“Staffing shortages have impacted our air carrier flight schedules and airspace management from time to time and in major regions of the country,” said Pasher. “We have seen this most acutely in the B.C. mainland airspace.”

Canada’s post-pandemic air travel surge in demand has been challenged by both labour shortages throughout the industry and  pandemic layoffs.

Nav Canada announced  in 2020, that it was cutting more than 720 jobs, representing about 14 percent of its workforce and terminated its training program during the pandemic.