Transport Minister launches Intenational Air Services Policy Review

by Canadian Shipper

Canada’s Federal Transport Minister David Collenette is launching an international air services policy review to address competition in the international market with the release of a consultation document for stakeholder review and comment. Transport Canada will consider stakeholder comments received during the consultation phase, and a draft policy outline is expected to be released in the spring for further comments.

The new policy would be announced in the summer and is expected to come into effect at the end of October 2001. “The objective of this review is to liberalize Canada’s policy for scheduled international air services, including how Canada approaches the negotiation and management of air traffic rights with other countries. Transport Canada is seeking the views of Canadian airports, airlines, communities, travellers, shippers, and the trade and tourism sectors on the extent to which the policy should be liberalized,” said Collenette.

Canada’s 1994 international air policy forms the basis for negotiating bilateral air agreements. In December 1999, the Minister of Transport indicated that a policy review was necessary in light of the significant restructuring of Canada’s airline industry and the global trend toward freer trade. Canada’s policy for international passenger charter air services was liberalized in April 2000. The Government of Canada is now in a position to review its policy for international scheduled air services.

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