26 March 2009
COPA is calling its members to action in order to prevent a major setback for General Aviation. Please read the background and then contact your MP and the Transport Minister.
COPA, along with several other organizations, co-signed a letter to the federal Transport Minister in December 2008, asking him to intervene in the impending loss of funding from the GTAA’s decision to cancel the long-standing “Capacity Maintenance Agreement”. Subsequent to that letter, a meeting was held between Minister Baird and Derek Sifton, President of Toronto Airways on behalf of the airport and his family who owns the airport. Minister Baird’s response was cold on any idea of the federal government providing funding for Buttonville, or for that matter intervening in the matter.
An attempt was made to convince the GTAA to rethink their position in light of their mandate, as an airports (plural) authority, for addressing aviation’s needs in the Greater Toronto Area. The response from the GTAA was that they perceive their mandate as not involving the needs of the sectors of aviation who are not welcome at Pearson airport.
A letter has been written by Derek Sifton to Minister Baird to again plead for the Minister to take action to address the void of policy regarding airports in the GTA and prevent Buttonville from closing before a viable alternative is developed.
Now is the time for COPA members to express your concerns. This is not simply a Toronto issue. COPA has been warning the government for many years that the National Airports Policy and a lack of a General Aviation Policy has in effect created a rudderless ship which can lead to a decline of General Aviation in Canada. The potential loss of this important airport, with no plan for a reliever airport to take its place, would leave the GTA with no viable options for serving the needs of the non-airline aviation sectors, and it certainly illustrates COPA’s warning very well.
Please take the time to study this issue and make your feelings known. It is easy to contact your Member of Parliament. Simply visit our Feedback to Feds section of our web site to find their contact information. Minister Baird can be contacted as follows:
The Honourable John Baird, PC MP
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 (no stamp needed)
Telephone (613) 996-0984
Fax (613) 996-9880