Nav Canada announced a proposal to maintain a one per cent reduction in its service charges that was implemented on a temporary basis on Aug. 1, 2007 and was set to expire on Aug. 31, 2008.
Nav Canada says the continuation of these lower rates would save customers an estimated $13 million in fiscal 2009.
Yes the continuation of the one per cent reduction is welcome but offers no relief to GA aircraft owners who now must pay a daily charge at seven Canadian airports. The daily charge has been in effect since March.
In 2006 COPA used the provisions of the Commercialization Act to appeal the new daily charge ($10 daily departure fee at seven airports) to the CTA.
Our appeal focused on the charging principles dealing with safety and reasonableness.
The CTA decided against our safety arguments primarily because Nav Canada softened the affect of the charge by exempting aircraft with emergencies or weather diversions and they decided that there were not compelling arguments made regarding lower safety margins at reliever airports, such as non-precision, circling approaches.
In other words, the CTA would have to see evidence, such as accident reports, that people will be put in peril or even die before they would accept our arguments. This is unfortunate because it would be nearly impossible to prove conclusively that the new daily charge was a factor.
Nav Canada’s decision to maintain the service fee at the one per cent reduction introduced last year is welcome, but the $10 daily charge is unacceptable.
Details of Nav Canada's proposed revised service charges are available on Nav Canada’s website at www.navcanada.ca.