Canada National Air Transport System - History

Canada National Air Transport System - History

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number of registered air carriers: 51 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 879 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 80,228,301 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,074,830,881 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: This entry provides the one- or two-character alphanumeric code indicating the nationality of civil aircraft. Article 20 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), signed in 1944, requires that all aircraft engaged in international air navigation bear appropriate nationality marks. The aircraft registration number consists of two parts: a prefix consisting of a one- or two-character alphanumeric code indicating nationality and a registration suffix of one to fi . more Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
C (2016)
Airports: This entry gives the total number of airports or airfields recognizable from the air. The runway(s) may be paved (concrete or asphalt surfaces) or unpaved (grass, earth, sand, or gravel surfaces) and may include closed or abandoned installations. Airports or airfields that are no longer recognizable (overgrown, no facilities, etc.) are not included. Note that not all airports have accommodations for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control. Airports field listing
1,467 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 4
Airports - with paved runways: This entry gives the total number of airports with paved runways (concrete or asphalt surfaces) by length. For airports with more than one runway, only the longest runway is included according to the following five groups - (1) over 3,047 m (over 10,000 ft), (2) 2,438 to 3,047 m (8,000 to 10,000 ft), (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m (5,000 to 8,000 ft), (4) 914 to 1,523 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft), and (5) under 914 m (under 3,000 ft). Only airports with usable runways are included in this listing. Not all . more Airports - with paved runways field listing
total: 523 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 21 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 19 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 147 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 257 (2017)
under 914 m: 79 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways: This entry gives the total number of airports with unpaved runways (grass, dirt, sand, or gravel surfaces) by length. Only airports with usable runways are included in this listin . more Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
total: 944 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 75 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 385 (2013)
under 914 m: 484 (2013)
Heliports: This entry gives the total number of heliports with hard-surface runways, helipads, or landing areas that support routine sustained helicopter operations exclusively and have support facilities including one or more of the following facilities: lighting, fuel, passenger handling, or maintenance. It includes former airports used exclusively for helicopter operations but excludes heliports limited to day operations and natural clearings that could support helicopter landings and takeoffs. Heliports field listing
26 (2013)
Pipelines: This entry gives the lengths and types of pipelines for transporting products like natural gas, crude oil, or petroleum products. Pipelines field listing
110000 km gas and liquid petroleum (2017)
Railways: This entry states the total route length of the railway network and of its component parts by gauge, which is the measure of the distance between the inner sides of the load-bearing rails. The four typical types of gauges are: broad, standard, narrow, and dual. Other gauges are listed under note. Some 60% of the world's railways use the standard gauge of 1.4 m (4.7 ft). Gauges vary by country and sometimes within countries. The choice of gauge during initial construction was mainly in resp . more Railways field listing
total: 77,932 km (2014)
standard gauge: 77,932 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
country comparison to the world: 4
Roadways: This entry gives the total length of the road network and includes the length of the paved and unpaved portions. Roadways field listing
total: 1,042,300 km (2011)
paved: 415,600 km (includes 17,000 km of expressways) (2011)
unpaved: 626,700 km (2011)
country comparison to the world: 7
Waterways: This entry gives the total length of navigable rivers, canals, and other inland bodies of water. Waterways field listing
636 km (Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 77
Merchant marine: Merchant marine may be defined as all ships engaged in the carriage of goods; or all commercial vessels (as opposed to all nonmilitary ships), which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil rigs, etc. This entry contains information in four fields - total, ships by type, foreign-owned, and registered in other countries. Total includes the number of ships (1,000 GRT or over), total DWT for those ships, and total GRT for those ships. DWT or dead weight tonnage is the total weight of ca . more Merchant marine field listing
total: 639 (2017)
by type: bulk carrier 16, container ship 1, general cargo 88, oil tanker 15, other 519 (2017)
country comparison to the world: 32
Ports and terminals: This entry lists major ports and terminals primarily on the basis of the amount of cargo tonnage shipped through the facilities on an annual basis. In some instances, the number of containers handled or ship visits were also considered. Most ports service multiple classes of vessels including bulk carriers (dry and liquid), break bulk cargoes (goods loaded individually in bags, boxes, crates, or drums; sometimes palletized), containers, roll-on/roll-off, and passenger ships. The listing le . more Ports and terminals field listing
major seaport(s): Halifax, Saint John (New Brunswick), Vancouver
oil terminal(s): Lower Lakes terminal
container port(s) (TEUs): Montreal (1,447,566), Vancouver (2,929,585) (2016)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Saint John
river and lake port(s): Montreal, Quebec City, Sept-Isles (St. Lawrence)
dry bulk cargo port(s): Port-Cartier (iron ore and grain),
Fraser River Port (Fraser) Hamilton (Lake Ontario)

National Air Pollution Surveillance Program

Since 1970 lead concentrations have decreased by 97%.

Sulphur dioxide levels have decreased by 96% since 1970.

From 1970 to 2008 particulate matter has decreased by over 50% in ambient air.

Volatile organic compounds, including benzene, have declined significantly since measurements started in 1990.

These trends all suggest that air quality has improved.

Canada National Air Transport System - History

110000 km gas and liquid petroleum (2017)

Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Halifax, Saint John (New Brunswick), Vancouver
oil terminal(s): Lower Lakes terminal
container port(s) (TEUs): Montreal (1,537,669), Vancouver (3,252,225) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Saint John
river and lake port(s): Montreal, Quebec City, Sept-Isles (St. Lawrence)
dry bulk cargo port(s): Port-Cartier (iron ore and grain),
Fraser River Port (Fraser) Hamilton (Lake Ontario)

NOTE: 1) The information regarding Canada on this page is re-published from the 2020 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Canada Transportation 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Canada Transportation 2020 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may have the following issues:
a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
b) The CIA sometimes assigns counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order.


Trans-Canada Air Lines (1937–1965) Edit

Air Canada's predecessor, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), was created by federal legislation as a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway (CNR) on 11 April 1937. [10] [11] The newly created Department of Transport under Minister C. D. Howe desired an airline under government control to link cities on the Atlantic coast to those on the Pacific coast. Using $5 million in Crown seed money, two Lockheed Model 10 Electras and one Boeing Stearman biplane were purchased from Canadian Airways [12] and experienced airline executives from United Airlines and American Airlines were brought in. [10]

Passenger flights began on 1 September 1937, with an Electra carrying two passengers and mail from Vancouver to Seattle, a $14.20 round trip, [10] and, on 1 July 1938, TCA hired its first flight attendants. [13] Transcontinental routes from Montreal to Vancouver began on 1 April 1939, using 12 Lockheed Model 14 Super Electras and six Lockheed Model 18 Lodestars. [12] By January 1940, the airline had grown to about 579 employees. [13]

Canadian Pacific Airlines (CP Air) suggested in 1942 a merger with TCA. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King rejected the proposal and introduced legislation regulating TCA as the only airline in Canada allowed to provide transcontinental flights. With the increase in air travel after World War II, CP Air was granted one coast-to-coast flight and a few international routes. [10]

Originally headquartered in Winnipeg, which was also the site of the national maintenance base, the federal government moved TCA's headquarters to Montreal in 1949 the maintenance base later also moved east. With the development of the ReserVec in 1953, TCA became the first airline in the world to use a computer reservation system with remote terminals. [14] [15]

Renamed to Air Canada and early years (1965–1990) Edit

Revenue Passenger-Kilometres, scheduled flights only, in millions
Year Traffic
1950 727
1955 1551
1960 3284
1965 5702
1969 9074
1971 10343
1975 16270
1980 23752
1985 21718
2000 448006

By 1964, TCA had grown to become Canada's national airline and, in 1964, Jean Chrétien submitted a private member's bill to change the name of the airline from Trans-Canada Airlines to Air Canada, which TCA had long used as its French-language name. This bill failed but it was later resubmitted and passed, with the name change taking effect on 1 January 1965. [12] Elizabeth II, the reigning Queen of Canada, flew on the first aircraft to bear the name and livery of Air Canada when she departed for the United Kingdom at the end of her 1964 tour of Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario. [16]

During the 1970s government regulations ensured Air Canada's dominance over domestic regional carriers and rival CP Air. [17] Short-haul carriers were each restricted to one of five regions, and could not compete directly with Air Canada and CP Air. [17] CP Air was subject to capacity limits on intercontinental flights, and restricted from domestic operations. Air Canada's fares were also subject to regulation by the government. [17]

In 1976, with reorganization at CNR, Air Canada became an independent Crown corporation. The Air Canada Act of 1978 ensured that the carrier would compete on a more equal footing with rival regional airlines and CP Air, and ended the government's direct regulatory control over Air Canada's routings, fares, and services. [17] The act also transferred ownership from Canadian National Railway to a subsidiary of the national government. [10] Deregulation of the Canadian airline market, under the new National Transportation Act, 1987 officially opened the airline market in Canada to equal competition. [18] The carrier's fleet expansion saw the acquisition of Boeing 727, Boeing 747, and Lockheed Tristar jetliners. [15] In 1978 Judy Cameron became the first female pilot hired to fly for any major Canadian carrier when she was hired to fly by Air Canada. [19]

With new fleet expenditures outpacing earnings, Air Canada officials indicated that the carrier would need additional sources of capital to fund its modernization. [17] By 1985 the Canadian government was indicating a willingness to privatize both Canadian National Railways and Air Canada. [17] In 1988 Air Canada was privatized, and 43% of shares were sold on the public market, [12] with the initial public offering completed in October of that year. [17] By this time, long-haul rival CP Air had become Canadian Airlines International following its acquisition by Pacific Western Airlines. [15]

On 7 December 1987, Air Canada became the first airline in the world with a fleet-wide non-smoking policy, [20] and in 1989 became completely privatized. [12] The successful privatization program was led by the President and CEO, Pierre J Jeanniot. The associated extensive communication activities were aided by the Non-Executive Chairman, Claude I. Taylor.

Strategic changes (1990s) Edit

In the early 1990s, Air Canada encountered financial difficulties as the airline industry slumped in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. [15] In response, the airline restructured management by hiring former Delta Air Lines executive Hollis L. Harris as its CEO. Harris restructured the airline's operations, reduced management positions, moved the corporate headquarters to Dorval Airport, [15] and sold the enRoute card business to Diners Club in 1992. [21] By 1994, Air Canada had returned to profitability. [15] The same year also saw the carrier winning route access to fly from Canada to the new Kansai Airport in Osaka, Japan. [15]

In 1995, taking advantage of a new US-Canada open skies agreement, Air Canada added 30 new trans-border routes. [15] In May 1997, Air Canada became a founding member of the Star Alliance, with the airline launching codeshares with several of the alliance's members. The second half of the 1990s saw the airline earn consistent profits, totalling $1 billion for the 1997 to 1999 period. [15]

On 2 September 1998, pilots for Air Canada launched the company's first pilots' strike, [22] demanding higher wages. [17] At the end of 1999, the Canadian government relaxed some of the aviation regulations, aimed at creating a consolidation of the Canadian airline industry. That year, American Airlines in conjunction with Canadian financial company Onex Corp, launched takeover bids for ailing rival Canadian Airlines and Air Canada, spurring Air Canada to submit a competing offer for its largest rival. [15]

Merger and reorganization (2000s) Edit

In January 2001, Air Canada acquired Canada's second-largest air carrier, Canadian Airlines, merging the latter's operations, becoming the world's twelfth-largest airline in the first decade of the 21st century. [12] As Air Canada gained access to its former rival's financial statements, officials learned that the carrier was in worse financial shape than was previously believed. [17] An expedited merger strategy was pursued, but in summer 2000 integration efforts led to flight delays, luggage problems and other frustrations. [17] However, service improved following Air Canada officials' pledge to do so by January 2001. [17] The airline was confronted by the global aviation market downturn and increased competition, posting back-to-back losses in 2001 and 2002. [17]

Bankruptcy and restructuring Edit

As Air Canada had employed a scorched earth policy to prevent the Onex proposed acquisition as one of its lines of defense, it had burdened itself with onerous contracts with almost all of its suppliers. As a result, on 1 April 2003, Air Canada filed for protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act it emerged from this protection on 30 September 2004, 18 months later. During the period of bankruptcy protection, the company was subject to two competing bids from Cerberus Capital Management and Victor Li. The Cerberus bid would have seen former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney installed as chairman, being recruited by Cerberus' international advisory board chair Dan Quayle, the former Vice-President of the United States. Cerberus was rejected because it had a reputation of changing existing employee pension agreements, a move strongly opposed by the CAW. At first, Air Canada selected Victor Li's Trinity Time Investments, which initially asked for a board veto and the chairmanship in return for investing $650 million in the airline. Li, who holds dual citizenship from Canada and Hong Kong, later demanded changes to the pension plan (which was not in his original takeover bid), but since the unions refused to budge, the bid was withdrawn. [23]

Finally, Deutsche Bank unveiled an $850 million financing package for Air Canada, if it would cut $200 million in annual costs in addition to the $1.1 billion that the unions agreed on in 2003. It was accepted after last-minute talks between CEO Robert Milton and CAW president Buzz Hargrove got the union concessions needed to let the bid go through. [12] [24] [25]

ACE Aviation Holdings became the new parent company under which the reorganized Air Canada was held. [26] However, in November 2012 ACE sold all shares and warrants it held in Air Canada.

In October 2004, Canadian singer Celine Dion became the face of Air Canada, hoping to relaunch the airline and draw in a more international market after 18 months of bankruptcy protection. [27] She recorded her single, You and I, which subsequently appeared in several Air Canada commercials. [28]

Fleet modernization Edit

On 31 October 2004, the last Air Canada Boeing 747 flight landed in Toronto from Frankfurt as AC873, ending 33 years of 747 service with the airline. The Boeing 747-400 fleet was replaced by the Airbus A340 fleet. [30] On 19 October 2004, Air Canada unveiled a new aircraft colour scheme and uniforms. A Boeing 767-300ER was painted in the new silver-blue colour, and the dark green/almost black tail was replaced with a new version of the maple leaf known as the 'Frosted Leaf'. [27]

On 9 November 2005, Air Canada agreed to renew its widebody fleet by purchasing 16 Boeing 777s (10 -300ERs, 6 -200LRs), and 14 Boeing 787-8s. It placed options on 18 Boeing 777s and 46 Boeing 787-8s and -9s. [31] Deliveries of the 777s began in March 2007 and deliveries of the 787s began in May 2014. [32]

On 24 April 2007, Air Canada exercised half of its options for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The firm order for the Dreamliners then stood at 37 plus 23 options, for a total of 60. The airline also cancelled orders for two Boeing 777Fs. In November 2007, Air Canada leased an additional Boeing 777-300ER. [33] [34]

Project XM Edit

Started in July 2006 and since completed, Project XM: Extreme Makeover, was a $300 million aircraft interior replacement project to install new cabins on all aircraft. New aircraft such as the Boeing 777 were delivered with the new cabins factory installed. [35]

New cabin features included: [36] [37] [38] [39] [40]

  • In Executive First, new horizontal fully flat Executive First Suites (on Boeing 767s, Boeing 777s, and Airbus A330s).
  • New cabins in all classes on all aircraft, with new entertainment options.
  • Personal AVOD (8.9 in or 230 mm touchscreen LCD) in Economy class (domestic and international) and Executive Class (domestic).
  • Larger AVOD (12 in or 300 mm touchscreen LCD) equipped with noise-cancelling Sennheiser headphones available in Executive First Suites.
  • Interactive games at all seats in Executive and Economy XM Radio Canada available at every seat.
  • USB ports to recharge electronic devices and for game controllers at all seats 120 VAC plugs in most seats In Economy (2 per triple) (1 per double) (3 per quad). In First Class/Executive (All seats)

Late 2000s financial difficulties Edit

High fuel prices and the Great Recession caused Air Canada significant financial difficulties in the late 2000s. In June 2008, the airline announced it would lay off over 2,000 employees and cut its capacity by 7 percent by the first quarter of 2009. [41] President and CEO Montie Brewer expressed confidence that the airline would weather the economic downturn. [42]

Brewer resigned on 30 March 2009 and was replaced by Calin Rovinescu on 1 April. [43] Rovinescu became the first Canadian President since Claude Taylor in 1992. Rovinescu, reported to be "an enforcer", was Air Canada's chief restructuring officer during its 2003 bankruptcy he resigned that year after unions rejected his demands. [44]

Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty appointed retired judge James Farley, who had presided over Air Canada's 2003 bankruptcy, to mediate pension issues between the company, the unions representing its employees, and retirees. The contracts with four of the unions also expired around this time. The airline stated that its $2.85 billion pension shortfall (which grew from $1.2 billion in 2007) was a "liquidity risk" in its first-quarter report, and it required new financing and pension "relief" to conserve cash for 2010 operations. The company was obligated to pay $650 million into the pension fund but it suffered a 2009 Q1 loss of $400 million, so it requested a moratorium on its pension payments in 2009. The unions had insisted on financial guarantees before agreeing on a deal. [45] [46]

In July 2009, Air Canada requested and received CA$1 billion in financial aid from a consortium of entities, including the Canadian government, ACE, and associate company Aeroplan. The Centre for Aviation reported that only CA$600 million was actually loaned to Air Canada the rest of the money was from sale-leaseback accounting and "aggregating an array of biscuit-tin savings". [47]

2010s Edit

In December 2010, ACE sold 44 million of Air Canada shares, [48] followed by the remaining 31 million shares in November 2012 to Cormark Securities Inc. [49]

In November 2014, Air Canada pilots voted by a majority of 84% in favour of a 10-year contract that allows the country's biggest passenger carrier to use arbitration or mediation to resolve disputes. [50] A year later, the flight attendants also approved a 10-year agreement, apparently by a narrow (unstated) margin, with wage increases, increased job security and improvements to working conditions, according to Michel Cournoyer, the head of CUPE's Air Canada unit. [51]

New branding and fleet Edit

On 9 February 2017, a new retro red and black aircraft livery was launched, to coincide with Air Canada's 80th anniversary and Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. The update includes design aspects from the logo used between 1964 and 1992, with an overall white colour scheme, with a black underside, tail fin with red maple leaf rondelle, black "Air Canada" lettering with a red maple leaf rondelle underneath, and a black "mask" surrounding the cockpit windows. [52] In December 2013, Air Canada ordered 61 Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle narrow body aircraft to replace its existing fleet of Airbus A320 series aircraft with the first MAX 8 variant delivered on 2 November 2017. [53] [54] Some Airbus Airbus A319s will be transferred to Air Canada's Rouge subsidiary, with the remaining fleet retired. As part of the deal, Boeing purchased 25 Embraer E190s from Air Canada that were retired in 2016. The same year, Air Canada signed an agreement with Bombardier Aerospace to replace the E190s with Airbus A220/CSeries aircraft from 2019. [55]

In July 2017, Air Canada reintroduced Premium Economy on its North American wide-body flights. [56]

In April 2018, Air Canada rebranded its international business class cabin as Air Canada Signature Class. [57] Passengers could expect an enhanced menu, including the new Air Canada Signature Cocktail, in addition new amenity kits, a chauffeur service (using BMW vehicles) at its hubs during domestic to international connections, and access to the Air Canada Signature Suite at Toronto Pearson International Airport. On select North American routes, Air Canada Signature Service is offered on widebody aircraft.

In May 2018, Air Canada listed Taiwan as part of China to comply with a requirement of China's civil aviation administration. [58] On 6 June 2018, Air Canada and Air China signed a joint venture, the first joint venture between a North American and Chinese airline. [59]

Proposed acquisition of Transat A.T. Edit

On 16 May 2019, Air Canada announced it is in exclusive talks to buy Transat A.T., the parent company that owns Air Transat, for 520 million Canadian dollars. On 27 June 2019, Transat A.T. agreed to be purchased by Air Canada for CA$13 per share. The deal is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. On 11 August 2019, Air Canada raised the purchase price of Transat A.T. to CA$18 per share. The overall value of the deal was now 720 million dollars. On 23 August 2019, 95% of Transat A.T. shareholders approved the acquisition by Air Canada on that basis. The plan was "expected to face intense scrutiny from the Competition Bureau and other regulatory authorities, including in Europe", according to CBC News. [60] The agreement was revised downwards in October 2020 to CA$5 per share, reflecting the challenges posed to the airline industry by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal was dropped in April 2021 following a failure to secure European Commission approval. [61]

2020s Edit

COVID-19 pandemic Edit

Travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced Air Canada to heavily restrict service. On 18 March 2020, the airline announced it would suspend most of its flights by 31 March. [62] Service began to return to normal on 22 May, with flights to more cities being added over the summer. [63] In its first quarterly financial report, Air Canada announced it had lost CA$1.05 billion, and only made CA$345 million in profit. [64] The airline similarly suffered in the third quarter, reporting a loss of CA$685 million. It stated capacity in the fourth quarter of the 2020 fiscal year would be 75 percent lower than the previous year. [65]

In April 2021, it was announced that the government of Canada would be providing a $5.9 billion loan package. [66]

Ownership Edit

Air Canada became fully privatized in 1989, [67] and its variable voting shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:AC), and, since 29 July 2016, on OTCQX International Premier in the US under the single ticker symbol "ACDVF". [68]

Currently, the Air Canada Public Participation Act (ACPPA) limits ownership of Air Canada's voting interests by non-residents of Canada to a maximum of 25%. The Canada Transportation Act (CTA) also requires that Canadians own and control at least 75% of the voting interests of licensed Canadian carriers. Accordingly, Air Canada's articles contain restrictions to ensure that it remains "Canadian" as defined under the CTA. [9]

Executives Edit

Prior to 1976, Air Canada was a department of the Canadian National Railway (CNR), helmed by a department head who reported to the President of CNR. Since 1976, the following have been CEO and President: [17]

  • 1976–1984: Claude Taylor (accountant former Air Canada reservation agent and executive)
  • 1984–1990: Pierre Jeanniot (former Overhaul Research Technician and Air Canada executive)
  • 1990–1992: Claude Taylor
  • 1992–1996: Hollis L. Harris (World Airways CEO 2001–04, Continental CEO and President, 1990–92, President of Delta)
  • 1996–1999: R. Lamar Durrett (former executive with Delta, Continental and System One)
  • 1999–2004: Robert Milton (founding partner of Air Eagle Holdings Incorporated)
  • 2004–2009: Montie Brewer (former United Airlines executive)
  • 2009–February 2021: Calin Rovinescu[69]
  • February 2021 – Present : Michael Rousseau

Business trends Edit

Air Canada had been loss-making for several years, but has now been profitable since 2012. [70] The key trends for the Air Canada group, including Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge, are (years ending 31 December):

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Turnover (C$m) 11,082 9,739 10,786 11,612 12,114 12,382 13,272 13,868 14,677 16,252 18,065 19,161
Net Profits/Losses after tax (C$m) −1,025 −24 −24 −249 131 10 105 308 876 2,038 167 1,476
Number of employees (average FTE) 24,200 22,900 23,200 23,700 24,000 24,500 24,400 24,900 26,100 27,800 29,900 32,900
Number of passengers (m) 33+ 30+ 32+ 33.9 34.9 35.8 38.5 41.1 44.8 48.1 50.9 51.5
Passenger load factor (%) 81.4 80.7 81.7 81.6 82.7 82.8 83.4 83.5 82.5 82.3 83.3 83.4
Number of aircraft (at year end) 333 332 328 331 351 352 364 370 381 395 400 403
Notes/sources [71] [72] [72] [73] [73] [70] [74] [75] [76] [77] [78] [79] [80]

Headquarters Edit

By federal law (Air Canada Public Participation Act), Air Canada has been obligated to keep its head office in Montreal. [81] [82] Its corporate headquarters is Air Canada Centre [83] (French: Centre Air Canada [84] ), also known as La Rondelle ("The Puck" in French), [85] a 7-storey building located on the grounds of Montréal–Trudeau International Airport in Saint-Laurent. [86]

In 1975, Air Canada was headquartered at 1 Place Ville-Marie in Montreal. [87] In 1990, the airline moved its headquarters to the airport to cut costs. [88]

Subsidiaries Edit

Air Canada Cargo Edit

Air Canada Cargo is the company's freight carrying division based at Toronto-Pearson, offering more than 150 shipping destinations through the Air Canada airline network, ground logistics and airline partners. [89] Its route network has focused on European destinations through Eastern Canada departure points, along with direct services from Vancouver and Calgary to Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Zurich. [89]

In Toronto, a new cargo terminal was completed in early 2002 which featured modernised inventory and conveyor systems. [90] Cargo terminals are also found in Vancouver and Montreal.

Air Canada Express Edit

Air Canada Express is the brand name of Air Canada's regional feeder service operated by several independent carriers including Jazz Aviation and Exploits Valley Air Services (EVAS). [91] [92]

Air Canada Jetz Edit

Launched in 2002, Air Canada Jetz is a charter service targeting sports teams, professional entertainers, and corporations. The Air Canada Jetz fleet consists of three Airbus A319s in an all business class configuration. [93] In February 2014, Air Canada decided to leave the sports charter business. [94] However, on 17 March 2015, Air Canada announced an agreement with several NHL teams to provide charter services under the Air Canada Jetz brand for six years starting from the 2015–2016 NHL season. [95]

Air Canada Rouge Edit

Launched in December 2012, Air Canada Rouge is a low-cost subsidiary of Air Canada. Air Canada Rouge serves predominantly leisure destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Mexico and the United States [96] using Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Airbus A321, and (formerly) Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. [97]

Air Canada Vacations Edit

Air Canada Vacations is Air Canada's tour operator. All packages include accommodation, Aeroplan Miles and roundtrip airfare aboard Air Canada and/or its Star Alliance partners.

Air Canada Vacations offers Executive Class service on select flights, nonstop flights from major Canadian cities and daily flights to many destinations. [98] [99]

Aeroplan Edit

Aeroplan is Air Canada's loyalty marketing program operated by Groupe Aeroplan Inc., which was spun off from Air Canada in 2005. [100] However, as of 26 November 2018, Air Canada has signed a definitive agreement to re-purchase Aeroplan from Aimia Inc. [101] Air Canada completed the purchase in January 2019. [102]

Former subsidiaries Edit

Air Canada Jazz Edit

In 2001, Air Canada consolidated its wholly owned regional carriers Air BC, Air Nova, Air Ontario, and Canadian Regional Airlines into Air Canada Regional Incorporated. Several of these air carriers had previously operated as an "Air Canada Connector". In 2002, the consolidation was completed with the creation of a new brand, Air Canada Jazz. Air Canada Jazz was spun off in November 2006. ACE Aviation Holdings is no longer a shareholder of Jazz Aviation LP, making it an independent company. Air Canada Jazz was the brand name of Air Canada's main regional product from 2002 to 2011. As of June 2011, the Air Canada Jazz brand is no longer being marketed as all regional operators adopted the Air Canada Express name. Jazz Aviation is the largest of these affiliates, operating 125 aircraft on behalf of Air Canada. [103]

Air Canada Tango Edit

On 1 November 2001, Air Canada launched Air Canada Tango, designed to offer no-frills service and lower fares using a dedicated fleet of 13 Airbus A320s in an all economy configuration of 159 seats. In Canada, it operated from Toronto to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Gander and St. John's. In addition, it operated non-stop service between Toronto and Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa as well as non-stop service between Montreal and Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. [104] Tango was intended to compete with Canada 3000. [105] The Tango service was dissolved in 2004. Air Canada now calls its lowest fare class "Tango". [106] As of 2018, Air Canada has renamed the Tango fare class to Standard fare. [107]

Zip Edit

In 2002, Air Canada launched a discount airline to compete directly with WestJet on routes in Western Canada. Zip operated ex-Canadian Airlines International 737-200s as a separate airline with its own staff and brightly painted aircraft. It was disbanded in 2004. [108]

Air Canada flies to 64 domestic destinations and 158 international destinations across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania. Along with its regional partners, the carrier serves over 222 destinations in 47 countries, on six continents worldwide. [3]

Air Canada had flown a number of fifth freedom routes (passenger and cargo rights between two non-Canadian destinations). [15] Past fifth freedom routes have included: Honolulu-Sydney, London Heathrow-Düsseldorf, Paris-Geneva, Paris-Munich, Paris-Berlin, Frankfurt-Zürich, Zürich-Zagreb, Zürich-Vienna, Zürich-Delhi, Manchester-Brussels, Lisbon-Madrid, Brussels-Prague, London Heathrow-Delhi, London Heathrow-Nice, London Heathrow-Mumbai-Singapore, Montego Bay-Kingston (KIN), and Santiago-Buenos Aires. However, these were replaced with nonstop routes: Vancouver-Sydney, Toronto-Munich, Toronto-Brussels, Toronto-Zürich, Vancouver-Zürich, Toronto-Vienna, Toronto-Delhi, Vancouver-Delhi, Toronto-Madrid, and Toronto-Mumbai. [109] [110]

Codeshare agreements Edit

Air Canada codeshares with the following airlines: [111]

Interline agreements Edit

Air Canada have Interline agreements with the following airlines: [114]

As of December 2020, Air Canada operates a fleet of 166 aircraft, all Airbus and Boeing. [115] [116]

Air Canada has three classes of service, Business/Signature, Premium Economy, and Economy. On most long-haul international and short-haul routes operated by widebody aircraft, Signature Class, Premium Economy Class, and Economy Class are offered [38] [40] most short-haul and domestic routes feature Business Class and Economy Class. [37] [39] All mainline seats feature AVOD (Audio Video On Demand) and mood lighting. Air Canada Express features Business Class and Economy Class, on CRJ900 and Embraer 175 aircraft all other Air Canada Express aircraft have one-class economy cabins. All narrowbody mainline aircraft, as well as Air Canada Express Bombardier CRJ900 and Embraer 175 aircraft have onboard Wi-Fi installed, which is also being installed on all widebody aircraft.

In the spring of 1987, Air Canada enacted no-smoking flights between Canada and New York City as a test. After a survey reported that 96% of passengers supported the smoking ban, Air Canada extended the ban to other flights. [117]

Cabins Edit

Signature Class Edit

Air Canada's Signature Class (initially Executive First) cabins are available on all widebody aircraft. There are two different cabins available: the Executive Pod and the Classic Pod. [40] All services feature AVOD (Audio Video On Demand) on a touch screen, noise cancelling headphones, and music provided by XM Satellite Radio. [118]

Executive Pods are featured on all Boeing 777s, 787s and are being rolled out on the Airbus A330-300s. [119] [120] These seats feature electronic flat beds in a 1–2–1 reverse herringbone configuration with a 21-inch (53.3 cm) seat width and a 6-foot-7-inch (2.01 m) seat pitch. [40] AVOD is provided with an 18-inch (45.7 cm) touch screen.

Classic Pods feature electronic flat beds, in a 1–1–1 herringbone configuration these are being currently phased out on the Airbus A330-300s. The Classic Pods have a 21-inch (53.3 cm) seat width and a 6-foot-3-inch (1.91 m) seat pitch in a reverse-herringbone configuration. [40] AVOD is provided with a 12-inch (30.5 cm) touch screen. [40]

North American Business Class Edit

Within North America, Business Class (initially Executive Class) is Air Canada's premium product. On Embraer 190 aircraft (mainline) and Embraer 175 and CRJ900 aircraft (Air Canada Express), the seat configuration is 1–2 abreast, with recline around 120°, and a width of 20 inches (0.51 m). [39] On Airbus and Boeing narrow-body aircraft, seat configuration is 2–2 abreast, with 124° recline, and 21 inches (0.53 m) width. [39] The seat pitch is 37 to 38 inches (0.94 to 0.97 m). All seats feature AVOD and music is provided by XM Satellite Radio. [39] On Trans-Atlantic flights operated with the Boeing 737 MAX 8, this cabin is sold as Premium Economy.

Premium Economy Class Edit

Premium Economy class is available on all Airbus A330, Boeing 777, and Boeing 787 aircraft. [119] It features a larger seat and greater recline as compared to economy class, in a 2–4–2 configuration (Boeing 777) or 2–3–2 configuration (Airbus A330 and Boeing 787) with a 20-inch (0.508 m) (Boeing 777) or 19.5-inch (0.495 m) (Boeing 787) seat width and a 37 to 38 inches (0.94 to 0.97 m) seat pitch. Entertainment is personal AVOD (Audio Video On Demand), while music is provided by XM Satellite Radio. [121]

Air Canada Rouge operates flights on its aircraft with a premium economy class product, branded as Premium Rouge. This is sold as a business class product on Rouge flights within North America.

Economy Class Edit

In Economy Class (initially Hospitality Service), seats are pitched 30 to 32 inches (0.76 to 0.81 m) with a width of 17.2 to 18.5 inches (0.44 to 0.47 m) and a recline to 3 to 6 inches (0.076 to 0.152 m). [38] On Air Canada Rouge aircraft, seats are pitched 29 to 30 inches (0.74 to 0.76 m) with a width of 17.5 to 18 inches (0.44 to 0.46 m) and 3 to 5 inches (0.076 to 0.127 m) of recline and does not feature any IFE system (In Flight Entertainment). Configuration is 3–4–3 on the Boeing 777, 3–3–3 on the Boeing 787, 2–4–2 on the Airbus A330, 3–3 on the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320 family, 2-3 on the Airbus A220, and 2–2 on Bombardier, De Havilland, and Embraer aircraft. All Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer aircraft, as well as the CRJ900 are fitted with personal AVOD (audio-video on demand). Music is provided by XM Satellite Radio. [38]

Complimentary meals are offered on all international flights outside of North America. For domestic, North American, sun destination and Caribbean flights, food and alcoholic beverages can be purchased through Air Canada Bistro (GuestLogix point of sale terminals are used) while non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary.

On all narrowbody aircraft and newly renovated A330s, there is an extra legroom Preferred Seat section in the first few rows and bulkhead and exit rows afterward of the economy cabin which provides up to 4 inches (0.10 m) more seat pitch (approx. 34 to 36 inches (0.86 to 0.91 m), aircraft dependent). All Air Canada Rouge planes offer Rouge Plus seats, which are identical to the Preferred Seats, but with up to 6 inches (0.15 m) more seat pitch (35" on A319s and 36" on 767s) as well as an additional 2 inches (0.051 m) of recline.

Air Canada Express Edit

Air Canada Express flights operated by CRJ200, Dash 8-/300/Q400 aircraft offer a bar and refreshment service on board. The CRJ900 and E175 features Business Class and personal AVOD at every seat. Flights on board the E175, CRJ200/900 and Q400 which are 90 minutes or more feature Onboard Café .

Cabin crew Edit

On 9 February 2017, a new uniform scheme coinciding with Canada's 150th and Air Canada's 80th anniversaries was unveiled. Air Canada partnered with Vancouver-born fashion designer Christopher Bates to design the new uniforms which incorporate a base colour of black or grey with red lettering and the famous maple leaf. [122]

Between 2004 and 2017, Air Canada uniforms used a midnight blue colour. The uniforms were designed by Canadian fashion designer Debbie Shuchat. At a presentation in the Toronto Airport hangar, Celine Dion helped the newly solvent airline debut its new image. [27]

Lounge Edit

Air Canada has 23 Maple Leaf Lounges [123] located at all major airports across Canada and at international locations including London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Newark and New York-LaGuardia. [124] The Maple Leaf Lounges are available to passengers holding a same day ticket on Air Canada in Business Class, Star Alliance Gold Members, Air Canada Super Elite, Air Canada Elite, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members, American Express Maple Leaf Club members, American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum holders, holders of a one time guest pass or economy passengers who have purchased lounge access during booking. [125]

Air Canada shares an Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2 with some other Star Alliance members. It is available to eligible passengers arriving into London from any Air Canada international flight, holding a confirmed same-day overseas travel boarding card. Eligible groups include Business Class Passengers, Air Canada Super Elite, Air Canada Elite, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Members or American Express Maple Leaf Club. [126]

Travellers who hold paid memberships to affiliated Star Alliance lounges, such as the United Club, are also eligible for access to Maple Leaf Lounges. [127]

Aeroplan is Air Canada's frequent flyer rewards program, both allowing for points collection and spending, as well as status and rewards as an Air Canada customer. After Air Canada and Aeroplan changed the division of points collection and redemption, Air Canada introduced an internal rewards program, Altitude. The two programs operate in conjunction.

On 11 May 2017, Air Canada announced it plans to launch a new loyalty program to replace Aeroplan and Altitude in 2020. [128] On 10 January 2019, Air Canada re-acquired Aeroplan from Aimia. [129] [130] In 2020, Air Canada Altitude and Aeroplan merged, with Aeroplan as the surviving entity. [131]

Air Canada Altitude Edit

On 20 September 2012, Air Canada unveiled its new frequent flyer status program named "Air Canada Altitude" to supplement Aeroplan. Aeroplan remained the frequent flyer rewards program, collecting miles which can be "spent", whereas status level is determined by Altitude standing.

There are five levels of membership in Air Canada's Altitude Program: Basic, Prestige 25K, Elite 35K, Elite 50K, Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K. The latter three are called "Top Tier" membership levels and provide travel benefits such as upgrades, lounge access, priority services (e.g., check-in, luggage handling), and bonuses when earning miles through air travel. In order to qualify for these levels, a member must earn, through flight activities, a certain number of miles or a certain number of segments and spending some level of money. Altitude refers to these as Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM), Segments (AQS), and Dollars (AQD).

Prestige members and Altitude Elite 35 K receive Star Alliance Silver status, while Elite 50K, Elite 75K, and Super Elite 100K members receive Star Alliance Gold status.

Air Canada Status Miles are calculated on an annual basis to determine Altitude Membership Status for the following benefit year (1 March through 28 February). At the 35K and above levels, that level of status is granted when achieved, for the remainder of the current year, as well as for the next year.

This coincides with the alliance with Star Alliance, and this can give you access to any Star Alliance lounge (to do this, you must be Star Alliance Gold) and discounts or upgrades on another Star Alliance member.

On 8 November 2020, Air Canada Altitude renamed as Aeroplan Elite Status. Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM), Segments (AQS), and Dollars (AQD) have been replaced by Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Segments (SQS), and Dollars (SQD). [132]

Status requirements Edit

Beginning 1 January 2016, for the 2017 status year, Air Canada began requiring a minimum spend level for each level, Altitude Qualifying Dollars. In 2021, the Altitude program has been replaced by the Aeroplan program. The requirements for 2021 are currently at:

  • Aeroplan 25K: 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS and $3,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 35K: 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS and $4,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 50K: 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS and $6,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 75K: 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS and $9,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan Super Elite: 100,000 SQM or 95 SQS and $20,000 SQD

In February 2019, TechCrunch reported that the Air Canada mobile app in the iOS App Store incorporated session-replay software from the Israeli firm Glassbox. This software, without the users' informed consent, recorded users' activities and transmitted the data, including unredacted credit card data and passport numbers, to remote servers. This compromised users' privacy and contravened the rules of the iOS App Store. [156] [157]

We are responsible for advancing the safety of all aspects of civil aviation in Canada. (Civil aviation is distinguished from military aviation.)

As part of the regulatory framework, we develop policies, guidelines, regulations, standards and educational materials to advance civil aviation safety in Canada.

As part of our oversight activities, we verify that the aviation industry complies with the regulatory framework through certifications, assessments, validations, inspections and enforcement.

Do you need to change the address on your licensing documents and/or the address where you receive aeronautical publications?

Online search for aerial photographs

The Earth Observation Data Management System (EODMS) online application enables public and government users to search and order raw Government of Canada Earth Observation images and archived product managed by NRCan such as aerial photos and satellite imageries.

The EODMS online application allows clients to search and retrieve metadata for over 3 million out of 6 million air photos.

The EODMS online visually depicts the ’footprint’ of air photos on a seamless map background. After a search is completed, the air photos can be ordered from National Air Photo Library (NAPL).

To access air photos, you can visit the Earth Observation Data Management System.

For more information on products and services, please contact National Air Photo Library.

About Transportation 2030: themes and actions

Transportation 2030 is our strategic plan to support this vision. The plan groups areas of work under five themes. These themes span modes of transport (such as air, marine, trucking and rail) as well as activities (such as setting and enforcing regulations).

Each theme has its own specific goal. We are taking action now under all themes, and will continue to develop policies and carry out actions for each area.

For a summary of the plan’s vision, themes and goals, see the Transportation 2030 infographic.

Five themes to focus our work

Better data and evidence

You told us we need timely and accessible data to:

  • assess how products move along supply chains
  • help the environment
  • reduce safety risks
  • increase trust in our transportation system
  • fill data gaps
  • use new methods to collect and analyze data
  • work with stakeholders to get better results from investments in data analysis, science, research and technology

Canadian Centre on Transportation Data

Budget 2017 proposed $50 million over 11 years to launch a Trade and Transportation Information System, carried out by a new Canadian Centre on Transportation Data. This is a joint Transport Canada and Statistics Canada initiative. In the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, $13.6 million over three years was set aside to help us improve transportation data and speed the creation of the Centre.

We launched the Transportation Data and Information Hub, one of the Centre’s key deliverables, in April 2018. The Hub is a one-stop location for high- quality, timely and accessible transportation data and information, including:

  • links to transportation data, both national and international
  • information on how the transportation system is performing
  • a map with links to information about Canada’s larger land border crossings, airports and ports
  • air passenger experience indicators, once this regulation comes into force
  • staffing levels for oversight programs, starting in October 2019
  • enforcement actions and immediate risk reduction measures, starting in December 2019

Under the Centre, we have also invested in addressing key transportation data gaps. For example, we launched the multimodal Canadian Freight Analysis Framework to measure how freight travels between a starting point and its destination. We are expanding the Trucking Commodity Origin and Destination survey, and will begin including household expenditures in the Transportation Economic Accounts.

We invested in innovative projects to:

  • promote evidence-based dialogue in the Regions
  • increase our ability to support and coordinate private or public investments
  • develop our ability to identify capacity and constraints based on trade and domestic consumption requirements

Modern policies, acts, and regulations

Transport Canada develops policies and enforces Acts and regulations that support transportation efficiency, safety, security and environmental responsibility. These Acts and regulations must align with:

  • global standards
  • recent, rapid and complex changes in transportation (such as connected and automated cars)

We are therefore looking at how our policies, Acts and regulations can better respond to current realities.

Strong partnerships

Federal and provincial/territorial Ministers responsible for the shared transportation system must continue to work together. We also want to:

  • build and strengthen our relationship with Indigenous groups
  • find better ways to work and communicate with private sector organizations and individual Canadians

Section 2 Evaluation Findings

The evaluation findings are organized in accordance with the core issues outlined in the Policy on Evaluation, looking first at relevance and then at performance (effectiveness, efficiency and economy).

2.1 Relevance

2.1.1 Continued Need for the Program

The continued need the Air Cargo Security Program was assessed against two indicators:

  • The importance of air cargo to Canadian national security and
  • The importance of air cargo to the Canadian economy.

National Security

Canada’s National Security Policy (2004) identifies air cargo as a priority. As well, a 2004 threat/risk assessment conducted by Transport Canada in co-operation with Canada’s intelligence services found that aircraft remain an attractive target for terrorists it identified a cargo bomb on a passenger plane, an airmail bomb on a passenger plane and the commandeering of an all-cargo plane as specific threats to Canada’s aviation system.[3] In 2009–10, the Air Cargo Security Program focused on mitigating the first of these three threats, a bomb in cargo on an outbound passenger plane.

Cargo has been part of the Aviation Security inspection checklist for air carriers since the 1980s and until the Security Measures Respecting Air Cargo (SMRAC) were implemented in December 2009, cargo was addressed as part of the Air Carrier Security Measures. A number of external reviewers have argued that air cargo security has been a known problem for at least 20 years, and have criticized Transport Canada, as follows, for failing to take more decisive action on the issue.

  • Report on Security Arrangements Affecting Airports and Airlines in Canada (1985): The Seaborn Report into the bombing of Air India Flight 182 identified cargo as a potential threat to civil aviation. The report recommended that in cases of “heightened” or “enhanced” alert, small parcels be X-rayed and larger pieces of cargo be physically searched or inspected by explosives-sniffing dogs. In heightened threat situations, Seaborn also recommended that carriers refuse to carry any cargo that cannot be opened and searched, or to simply refuse to carry cargo at all (p. 4).
  • Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (2003): The committee identified serious and ongoing deficiencies in Canada’s security regime for air cargo and airmail. In 2003, it recommended that “[t]he practice of offering blanket security shortcuts on the basis of being a known shipper should be discontinued in favour of a more robust regulated agents program.”
  • Flight Plan: Managing the Risks in Aviation Security: Report of the CATSA Act Review Advisory Panel (2006): The CATSA Review Panel found that cargo departing Canadian airports was largely unscreened, and called cargo the “single most significant gap” in Canadian aviation security. The Panel noted the following:

The panel was “impressed” with the Known Shipper program in the U.K., and urged Transport Canada to implement an air cargo security regime as quickly as possible, noting that “ CATSA would be an appropriate agency to oversee the operational aspects of a new regime.

  • Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (2007): In 2007, the Standing Committee argued that Transport Canada’s mandate to promote the efficiency and profitability of the transportation industry was in conflict with its role as security regulator. The Committee argued that “putting Transport Canada in charge of [aviation] security is comparable to putting Industry Canada in charge of the environment. Industry Canada wants maximum production. Environmentalists want to ensure that production doesn’t despoil the planet. The roles don’t mix.” The Committee reiterated its criticisms of the Known Shipper provisions, and recommended that “Transport Canada be relieved of its responsibility for security at airports and that this responsibility be transferred to the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.”
  • Air India Flight 182:A Canadian Tragedy – Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 (2010): The Commission was launched in June 2006, held hearings from September 2006 until February 2008, and issued its final report on December 16, 2009. Based largely on evidence examined in 2007, the Commission noted serious deficiencies in Canada’s air cargo security system:

[A]ir cargo, for the most part, is simply placed alongside baggage in the aircraft hold as long as the shipper has met the minimal criteria of having had a regular business relationship with the air carrier. The image of fully screened passengers seated on aircraft with largely unscreened air cargo beneath them is troubling.

The value of improvements to passenger and baggage screening is greatly diminished if a bomb can be placed in a cargo shipment. This was the most disturbing revelation about Canada’s current civil aviation security regime. It was also the one uniting factor among all the experts and stakeholders who appeared at the hearings. With striking unanimity, they agreed that air cargo currently represented one of the most significant gaps in aviation security, and that the gap must be addressed (p. 268).

  • Recommendation 23A comprehensive system for screening air cargo (including mail) for transport on passenger and all-cargo aircraft should be implemented as an urgent priority. Canada’s system of Known Shippers should be discontinued as soon as possible, and a system of Regulated Agents put in its place in accordance with international best practices. In designing and implementing the system, the Government should exceed the minimum requirements of Annex 17 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation , with the aim of achieving the highest possible standards of air cargo security.
  • Recommendation 24The new security regime for air cargo must be governed by legislation, not by non-binding Memoranda of Understanding. The security regime should reflect international best practices.
  • Recommendation 25A supply chain security regime should be established for other non-passenger items (such as stores and catering) that are prepared at off-airport premises before being delivered to an aircraft.

Following the October 29, 2010 cargo bomb plot, the Air Cargo Security Program conducted another threat/risk assessment workshop. Unlike the 2004 assessment, the 2010 workshop considered both inbound and outbound cargo, and the report’s conclusion spoke to the need for an inbound cargo security strategy and for better security for all-cargo flights.

The addition of all-cargo flights is significant. A prevailing belief exists that 70 to 80 per cent of Canadian air cargo travels on passenger aircraft (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Beliefs about Prevalence of Cargo on Passenger Flights

Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182
80 per cent of Canadian air cargo is carried on passenger planes (cited source was Reg Whitaker, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, York University).

Minister John Baird, announcing new funding for Air Cargo Security
75 per cent of commercial cargo travels in planes containing passengers (quoted in the National Post,
May 25, 2010).

Minister Jim Prentice, announcing new funding for Air Cargo Security
75 per cent of all air cargo in Canada is transported on passenger planes (quoted in the Calgary Herald, May 25, 2010 BBC News, July 8, 2010).

CBC News
The Canadian government says about 75 per cent of commercial cargo in the country is transported in aircraft that also transport passengers (quoted from CBC News Online, November 1, 2010).

Figure 5: Outbound Cargo, by Type of Aircraft, Since 1999

Annual kg by Aircraft Type
Destination Passenger All-Cargo
Domestic 52,732,036 160,410,846
International 150,778,086 9,865,248
Transborder 9,696,379 107,434,685
Total kg 213,206,501 277,710,779
Source: Transport Canada, Economic Analysis, ECATS Data Figure 5 illustrates the amount of cargo departing from Canadian airports each year in millions of kilograms on passenger planes and all-cargo planes.
Year All Cargo Planes Passenger Planes Cargo % Passenger %
1999 104 364 22% 78%
2000 108 347 24% 76%
2001 94 295 24% 76%
2002 98 295 25% 75%
2003 98 253 28% 72%
2004 96 253 28% 72%
2005 150 229 40% 60%
2006 337 232 59% 41%
2007 319 404 44% 56%
2008 292 225 56% 44%
2009 278 213 57% 43%

Economic Importance of Securing Air Cargo

Statistics Canada’s International Trade Database recorded combined Canadian imports and exports of $725 billion in 2009, of which $94 billion was transported by air (see Table 3). As a percentage, air cargo represented $12.79 per cent of combined imports and exports as compared to rail at 10.33 per cent, road at 45.89 per cent and marine at 20.9 per cent. The value of Canadian air cargo has generally risen since 2002 (see Figure 6). Trade by all modes declined in 2009 when compared to previous years. Although the value of goods traded by air declined less than any other mode (eight per cent for exports and seven per cent for imports as opposed to 21 per cent for all modes), the combined value of imports and exports by air was $7.5 billion dollars lower in 2009 than it was in 2008. In 2009, Canada imported $53.94 billion by air and exported $40.14 billion. These figures include Canadian aircraft exports, which were worth almost $7 billion in 2009, as well as goods carried on aircraft as cargo. However, they still give a good indication of the importance of air cargo to the Canadian economy.

Table 3: How Canadian Imports and Exports Travelled, 1999–2009
Year Exports ($B CND) Imports ($B CND) Grand
Air Rail Road Water Other Total Air Rail Road Water Other Total
1999 27.3 70.9 188.4 40.7 28.1 355.4 44.6 20.2 211.2 42.8 1.6 320.4 675.8
2000 36.1 76.3 203.7 47.1 50.1 413.2 53.9 23.1 222.1 55.9 2.1 357.0 770.2
2001 34.4 76.1 195.8 45.1 52.6 404.1 48.5 24.5 210.7 53.9 5.6 343.1 747.2
2002 31.4 76.6 199.7 46.1 42.6 396.4 43.8 26.2 217.0 57.0 4.9 349.0 745.3
2003 32.0 72.6 176.4 47.8 52.2 381.1 40.2 24.5 203.8 59.7 7.7 336.0 717.1
2004 34.5 78.4 186.7 54.5 57.9 412.0 44.9 25.4 209.7 63.2 11.2 354.5 766.5
2005 38.1 76.5 188.4 60.5 72.1 435.7 47.5 27.5 216.2 69.4 18.2 378.9 814.6
2006 39.6 75.4 185.7 68.7 70.2 439.6 50.5 28.9 221.4 75.0 17.6 393.4 832.9
2007 40.8 74.3 180.3 81.4 73.5 450.4 55.6 31.3 224.7 78.3 17.1 406.9 857.3
2008 43.5 71.1 169.8 96.2 102.9 483.6 58.1 34.5 221.5 99.0 20.9 434.0 917.6
2009 40.1 49.0 136.9 71.6 62.3 360.0 53.9 25.9 193.0 79.9 12.4 365.2 725.2

Source: Statistics Canada, International Trade Database

Figure 6: Canadian Imports and Exports by Air (1999–2009)

Source: Statistics Canada, International Trade Database

Figure 6 illustrates the value of Canadian air cargo imported and exported by air between 1999 and 2009.
Year Imports By Air ($) Exports By Air ($) Total ($)
1999 44.59 27.27 71.86
2000 53.88 36.06 89.94
2001 48.47 34.45 82.92
2002 43.82 31.39 75.21
2003 40.23 32.01 72.24
2004 44.90 34.51 79.41
2005 47.52 38.08 85.59
2006 50.54 39.58 90.12
2007 55.60 40.76 96.36
2008 58.12 43.49 101.61
2009 53.94 40.14 94.07

The U.S. and the U.K. are Canada’s most significant destinations for exports by air, and it is these jurisdictions that the Program is focusing on with regard to mutual recognition and harmonization. As shown in Table 4, the U.S. receives 33 per cent of Canada’s air exports, with machinery and electrical equipment and transportation-related products representing the majority. Although Canada exported more than $4 billion in transportation goods to the U.S. in 2009, it should be noted that most of this figure—$3.7 billion—was in the form of complete aircraft (airplanes and helicopters) rather than cargo traveling in the hold of an airplane. Once the Security Measures Respecting Air Cargo (SMRAC) are fully implemented, air carriers will not be allowed to transport unsecured cargo departing from Canadian airports. As well, some jurisdictions, most notably the U.S., require all inbound cargo to be secured to their domestic standards, which may be more stringent than Canadian standards.

Table 4: 2009 Canadian Exports by Destination and Commodity Type ($Million CDN)
Country Animals & Animal Prod. Vegetable Products Foodstuffs Tobacco Mineral Products Chemicals Plastics / Rubbers Skins, Leather, & Furs Wood & Wood Products Printed Materials Textiles Footwear / Headgear Stone / Glass Metals Machinery / Electrical Transportation Miscellaneous Services Total Percentage
Top 20 Export Destinations (At least 1% of Total Exports)
United States 22 2 3 1 0 257 79 13 9 33 47 3 1,710 150 4,032 4,053 1,346 1,417 13,177 32.8%
United Kingdom 14 4 2 0 0 171 14 4 4 7 13 4 6,867 31 732 673 196 47 8,784 21.9%
Germany 20 1 2 0 0 68 8 7 2 8 28 4 59 22 604 420 191 281 1,725 4.3%
France 50 2 1 0 0 187 7 3 2 4 5 1 4 21 675 83 107 15 1,169 2.9%
Mexico 3 5 0 0 0 22 7 1 2 2 3 0 39 17 830 76 42 8 1,057 2.6%
Switzerland 28 0 1 0 0 323 1 1 0 2 4 1 376 2 120 34 38 110 1,041 2.6%
China 46 1 1 0 0 21 9 69 3 2 4 0 3 21 508 24 191 7 913 2.3%
Japan 63 12 4 0 0 116 6 2 1 1 13 3 11 11 331 147 81 25 829 2.1%
Belgium 27 2 1 0 0 121 3 0 0 2 1 0 547 3 52 8 43 1 814 2.0%
Australia 3 1 2 0 0 49 8 1 1 2 5 1 16 18 228 194 65 69 661 1.6%
Hong Kong 67 8 4 0 0 32 9 103 2 1 5 0 28 4 209 98 52 22 645 1.6%
Singapore 2 1 1 0 41 22 5 0 0 1 1 0 1 13 298 99 63 12 560 1.4%
Italy 6 1 1 0 0 28 5 4 1 2 4 1 5 7 283 106 86 6 545 1.4%
Denmark 1 0 0 0 0 3 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 34 363 23 5 437 1.1%
UAE 4 2 1 0 0 12 3 0 1 1 4 1 98 8 172 88 37 4 435 1.1%
Ireland 0 0 1 0 0 327 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 54 33 13 1 435 1.1%
Netherlands 15 4 1 0 0 42 4 0 0 2 17 1 4 5 221 15 92 11 434 1.1%
South Korea 15 1 7 0 0 27 3 23 1 1 3 0 2 23 216 9 83 4 417 1.0%
Brazil 5 0 0 0 0 22 4 0 0 1 2 0 2 6 237 68 50 7 407 1.0%
India 1 0 0 0 0 12 3 0 0 1 1 0 99 6 143 63 48 11 388 1.0%
Sub Total 392 47 35 2 44 1,864 182 234 28 75 167 20 9,872 369 9,981 6,654 2,847 2,061 34,872 86.9%
Other Export Destinations (Less than 1% of Total Exports)
195 Others 79 28 21 0 8 436 69 27 9 42 49 6 38 129 2,170 1,460 560 134 5,266 13.1%
472 75 57 2 52 2,300 250 262 36 117 215 26 9,910 498 12,152 8,114 3,406 2,195 40,138 100%
1.2% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 5.7% 0.6% 0.7% 0.1% 0.3% 0.5% 0.1% 24.7% 1.2% 30.3% 20.2% 8.5% 5.5% 100.0%

Source: Statistics Canada, International Trade Database

2.1.2 Alignment with Government Priorities

The alignment of the Air Cargo Security Program with federal government priorities and departmental strategic outcomes was assessed against two indicators:

  • Consistency between the Air Cargo Security Program and the current government’s priorities and
  • Consistency between the Air Cargo Security Program and Transport Canada’s mandate, legislation and strategic objectives.

Government Priorities

A review of key federal government foundation documents indicates that the Air Cargo Security Program is aligned with federal priorities (see Figure 7). Air cargo security received funding in Budgets 2006, 2009 and 2010. Announcements of new federal spending are an important indication of the relative priority of a program, and the fact that air cargo security received funding in three of the last five budgets is significant. Furthermore, the 2010 Speech from the Throne committed to “make travel by air safer by employing the latest screening practices and detection technologies for passengers and cargo.” The Governor General also noted that “while the costs of air security must be borne by businesses and individuals who use air transport, our Government will ensure their contribution is invested responsibly and effectively, and delivers measurable results.” The inclusion of aviation and air cargo security in the Throne Speech further highlights the importance of the Program. It is also worth noting that the government specifically committed Transport Canada to demonstrating that the investments made by air carriers, freight forwarders and shippers will yield measurable results, making operational intelligence and performance measurement key deliverables for the program.

Figure 7: References to Air Cargo and Airmail Security in Federal Foundation Documents
Issues Mentioned
Commitments Funded
Government of Canada Transport Canada
Federal Budget Throne Speech RPP DPR
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2006 (April) 2007 (Oct) 2008 (Nov) 2009 (Jan) 2010 (March) 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10
Aviation Security X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Air Cargo Security X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Airmail Security X X X

Departmental Strategic Outcomes

2.1.3 Alignment with Federal Roles and Responsibilities

The alignment of the Air Cargo Security Program with federal responsibilities and international obligations was assessed against two indicators:

  • The federal government’s responsibilities and international obligations and
  • Alternative divisions of roles and responsibilities.

Federal Responsibilities and Obligations

Aviation is a federal responsibility, and the Aeronautics Act gives the Federal Minister of Transportation the authority to make regulations with regard to aviation security and to “co-operate or enter into administrative arrangements with aeronautics authorities of other governments or foreign states with respect to any matter relating to aeronautics.” With regard to aviation security, sub-section 4.71 (2)(d) of the Act stipulates that the Governor in Council may make regulations “respecting the screening of goods that are intended to be taken or placed on board an aircraft or brought into an aerodrome or other aviation facility, or that are inside an aircraft or an aerodrome or other aviation facility . . .” Further, sub-sections k, l, m and o of section 4.71 (2) give the Minister of Transportation authority to make regulations with respect to Security Management Systems (SeMS), and to set standards for equipment and personnel training.

Section 4.72 gives the Minister the authority to establish Security Measures. Security Measures have the same force as regulations, but they are not made public, and they do not need to be published in the Canada Gazette. Because Security Measures are less transparent than regulations, they can only be used under specific circumstances, as described in section 4.72 (2):

The Minister may only make a security measure in relation to a particular matter if (a) an aviation security regulation could be made in relation to that matter and (b) aviation security, the security of any aircraft or aerodrome or other aviation facility or the safety of the public, passengers or crew members would be compromised if the particular matter that is to be the subject of the security measure were set out in a regulation and the regulation became public.

If at any time the Minister believes that security would no longer be compromised by the publication of a specific Security Measure, the government is obligated to either repeal that Security Measure or publish it in the Canada Gazette.

The Act also gives the Minister of Transportation the authority to enter into international agreements with respect to aviation. Although the Constitution Act does not explicitly identify international treaty making as an exclusive federal power, it is generally accepted that the Government of Canada can enter into international agreements on behalf of the country, provided it does not infringe on provincial powers (Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Library of Parliament, Canada 2008). The international standards for air cargo security are outlined in Annex 17 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Convention on International Civil Aviation ). Specifically, Section 4.6 details the requirements relating to cargo, mail and other goods:

  • 4.6.1 Contracting states shall ensure the security controls are applied to cargo, mail and other goods prior to being loaded onto a commercial transport plane
  • 4.6.2 Contracting states will ensure said cargo is protected from interference after it has cleared security
  • 4.6.3 Contracting states will establish a process for approval of regulated agents if such agents are involved in implementing security controls
  • 4.6.4 All cargo must be subject to security controls by a regulated agent
  • 4.6.5 Each contracting state shall ensure the security controls are applied to catering, stores and supplies prior to being loaded onto a commercial transport plane and
  • 4.6.6 (Recommendation) each contracting state should ensure that mail and cargo on all-cargo aircraft be subject to risk-appropriate security controls based on a risk assessment by the relevant national authority.

2.2 Performance

2.2.1 Achievement of Expected Outputs

Source: Transport Canada, Air Cargo Security Program, Year-End Report FY 2009–2010

Canada’s Economic Action Plan allocated $11.4 million to Transport Canada in 2009–10 to improve the state of air cargo security. [ATIP REMOVED]. Table 6 shows the outputs expected from these investment and activities. The text that follows provides an assessment of the six outputs described in the table.

  • Policy Development
  • Regulatory Development
  • Secure Supply Chain Management System
  • Participant Program
  • Performance Standards for Air Cargo Screening
  • Ongoing Testing and Qualification of Air Cargo Screening Tools

Policy Development

Policy work is not normally considered an output for evaluation purposes. [ATIP REMOVED]. In January 2010, following consultations with industry representatives, Transport Canada received authority to establish Air Cargo Security as an ongoing program.


Regulatory Development

Pursuant to the Aeronautics Act, the Air Cargo Security Program had an obligation to consult with air carriers before implementing new security measures. It conducted consultations with industry stakeholders across Canada, as follows, prior to implementing new Security Measures. In November and December of 2009, consultation sessions were held in 15 cities with Class I and Class II airports there were 276 attendees. Consultation material was also made available to more than 1,500 stakeholders through Transport Canada's Security Regulatory Advisory System (SRAS).

The Program also worked with the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA), the NACSTAC (National Air Cargo Security Training Awareness Committee) and the Air Cargo Security Technical Committee of the Advisory Group on Aviation Security (AGAS), which is comprised of representative air carriers, airport authorities, industry associations, unions, suppliers and CATSA . A number of air carriers indicated that they were very satisfied with the level of consultation. In contrast, several freight forwarders expressed dissatisfaction with the level of consultation.

In 2009–10, the Program developed new Security Measures Respecting Air Cargo (SMRAC) [ATIP REMOVED].

Secure Supply Chain Management System (SSCMS)

  • Secure Supply Chain Management System (SSCMS): Until March 31, 2010, Transport Canada outsourced the SSCMS to an external service provider [ATIP REMOVED].
  • Interim Secure Supply Chain Management System (iSSCMS): Because of the cost of the contract, and difficulties in securing approval for project extensions, a decision was made in the fall of 2009 to develop an in-house system. The proposed Transportation Security Information System (TSIS) was meant to include SSCMS. As a temporary measure, an interim system (iSSCMS) was developed during the EAP period it relied on the Secure Regulatory Advisory System (SRAS), database applications and manual office procedures. For a number of reasons, including the resource burden of using manual office procedures, unacceptably slow system performance, the need to deploy the system to Transport Canada offices outside the National Capital Region and a reclassification of the system’s data from Protected B to Protected A, the Air Cargo Security Program is now developing a new secure supply chain management system.
  • Secure Supply Chain Information Management System (SSCIMS): The TSIS project mentioned in the previous paragraph has been discontinued. In its stead, the Program recently received approval to implement its own web-based, in-house IT system for managing the secure supply chain for air cargo. While some information is captured by the ECATS system, neither the interim iSSCMS system nor the permanent SSCIMC systems has the capacity to collect operational intelligence on the movement of freight through the secure supply chain.

Participant Program

Under the pilot program, the Participant Program consisted of air carriers and freight forwarders. All air carriers licensed to operate in Canada are regulated under the Aeronautics Act and their cargo handling facilities must always comply with SMRAC . On the other hand, freight forwarders are voluntary participants in the Air Cargo Security Program, and the Program is working to develop regulations that would allow shippers to voluntarily join the program by 2012.

Freight forwarders are not regulated under the Aeronautics Act, and their participation in the Air Cargo Security Program is voluntary because not all freight forwarders ship goods by air, while others do not ship enough air cargo to justify the costs associated with Program membership. From 2007 until September 2010, freight forwarders could join the pilot program by signing a Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU ) with Transport Canada. The MOU required them to submit a Cargo Security Plan based on Minimum Required Elements that were developed to test security components within the freight forwarding industry.

[ATIP REMOVED]. As of November 2010, 255 sites had been approved (see Figure 8).

Figure 8: Air Cargo Security Participant Program


There was consensus among the air carriers and freight forwarders interviewed that a secure supply chain for air cargo is emerging in Canada. However, a number of Transport Canada Inspectors and freight forwarders indicated that the majority of freight forwarders are not screening cargo [ATIP REMOVED]. Also, the Air Cargo Security Program is working to bring Canada Post into the secure supply chain as a partner organization under such an arrangement, Canada Post would be responsible for ensuring that airmail is secure to an equivalent standard to air cargo.

Performance Standards for Air Cargo Screening

The Program has implemented minimum technical performance standards for a number of screening technologies and processes that can be used to detect explosives in air cargo: [ATIP REMOVED].

The value of X-ray devices and other screening technologies is contingent on their appropriate use by a trained operator. [ATIP REMOVED].

Ongoing Testing and Qualification of Air Cargo Screening Tools


Canada is actively working with the U.S., the U.K., the European Union and Australia on technical issues related to air cargo security. Transport Canada has a Cooperative Activity Agreement under the Critical Infrastructure Protection and Border Security Agreement with the U.S.. Pooling Transport Canada’s research and development budget with other jurisdictions gives the department access to a significant volume of research and development data at a fraction of its full cost. [ATIP REMOVED].

Industry expressed concern that the list of approved technologies has not been finalized, and does not include devices that would allow them to quickly screen larger pieces of cargo or freight that have been consolidated into pallets or containers. A number of air carriers indicated that they had funds available and could purchase and deploy screening technologies at their sites within 90 days of receiving a “final” qualified equipment list from Transport Canada. Program staff indicated that few technologies exist that can reliably screen palletized or containerized cargo, and that technologies used elsewhere may not meet Canadian standards when used properly. [ATIP REMOVED].

2.2.2 Achievement of Immediate Outcomes

The Air Cargo Security Program appears to be well aligned with the outcomes associated with Transport Canada’s fourth Strategic Outcome (SO 4), a Secure Transportation System. Because the Air Cargo Security Program is still being implemented, however, it is too early to assess whether or not Transport Canada is achieving its intermediate or ultimate objectives. This evaluation focused on the Program’s first immediate outcome—the extent to which the Air Cargo Security Program has established the foundation for a secure supply chain for domestic, transborder and international air cargo departing from Canadian airports. This outcome was assessed using five indicators:

  • Implementation of air cargo security measures
  • Industry participation
  • Opinion of Program staff and stakeholders
  • Awareness of the secure supply chain and
  • Co-operation and interoperability.

Implementation of Air Cargo Security Measures


  • Program Participant Screening Technologies: The Cargo Security Compliance Form used by Transport Canada’s Air Cargo Security Inspectors to assess freight forwarders in the Participant Program will note whether or not each participant conducts screening, by what method, and the number and model of approved technologies deployed at each site. The Program is working to integrate the Cargo Security Compliance Form into the second release of SSCIMS by [ATIP REMOVED], allowing for electronic collection and data mining of this information.
  • Air Carrier Screening Technologies: As of April 1, 2011, the Air Carrier Inspection Checklist used by Transport Canada’s Air Cargo Security Inspectors at air carrier sites will verify that carriers are screening cargo using approved methods, and validate that the appropriate level of rescreening is taking place. While the Program plans to integrate the Air Carrier Inspection Checklist into SSCIMS , this version of the checklist does not record the number or models of approved technologies deployed at each site.
  • Shipment-Level Screening and Chain of Custody Data: As of April 1, 2011, each shipment of goods that moves through the secure supply chain will be accompanied by a Cargo Security Form that will document where, when and by whom each shipment was received, secured and transported. [ATIP REMOVED].
  • Flight-Level Compliance Data:[ATIP REMOVED] Transport Canada can require the carriers to demonstrate their compliance with the Act and its regulations, and could use this authority to request data on additional randomly selected flights to augment the data collected by Inspectors.

In 2010–11, the Air Cargo Security Program made significant progress with regard to the collection of operational intelligence, and plans are in place to collect much of the information needed to monitor the movement of freight through the secure supply chain or the deployment of screening technologies at air carrier and freight forwarder sites across Canada. However, there are instances in which data collection mechanisms or reporting requirements could be modified to support more robust analysis. A 2010 compliance audit of the pilot project requested by the program noted:

Without a mechanism to measure the performance of the secure supply chain, the program will be unable to measure its effectiveness, take corrective action as necessary, and demonstrate its effectiveness to international partners.

In the years to come, the Program will need this type of operational intelligence to manage the risks associated with a shortage of screening capacity at specific points in the supply chain or weaker-than- expected participation by industry.

Industry Participation

Although air carriers are ultimately responsible for all the cargo they carry, the purpose of supply chain security is to enable industry to secure cargo at the most efficient point in the supply chain, often well before it reaches the airport. At this time however, almost all Canadian air cargo is still secured by air carriers rather than by freight forwarders, shippers or dedicated screening companies. The evaluators observed a number of issues that may need to be addressed before other supply chain members can make a significant contribution to the minimum screening percentages outlined in Table 7.

While freight forwarders are joining the program, a number of Transport Canada Inspectors and freight forwarders interviewed indicated that freight forwarders are not currently searching or screening cargo, and that they have no immediate intention to do so. These interviewees expressed concern that until the Participant Program is extended to shippers, freight forwarders will not benefit from Program membership or be in a position to contribute to its goals.

The 2010 compliance audit cited above also revealed issues with data management and freight forwarder compliance, most notably a lack of commitment on the part of participants, a lack of clarity in the interpretation of the minimum required elements and missing information from Cargo Security Plans. The audit’s conclusions included the following:

The audit reveals a significant level of non-compliance in [Cargo Security Plans] CSPs to the AIF [Acceptance and Inspection Form] criteria. This can be explained in part by missing information due to a CSP template that may not have sufficiently prompted companies to provide company specific information, and the large number of annexes that were not attached to the CSPs and were not submitted separately in [Secure Regulatory Advisory System] SRAS . A smaller number of companies included statements in their CSPs that indicated they were not willing to accept full responsibility for the security of air cargo.

In interviews, a number of air carriers and larger freight forwarders expressed similar concerns that the community of freight forwarders is not taking the Program or its rules seriously enough, and that Transport Canada is not doing enough to enforce its rules.

Opinion of Program Staff and Stakeholders

In November and December 2010, Evaluation and Advisory Services interviewed 13 air carriers, 10 freight forwarders, seven Air Cargo Security staff members, six Transport Canada Inspectors and five officials from the Canada Border Services Agency. While some concerns were noted, most respondents indicated that the Air Cargo Security Program was moving in the right direction, and that a secure supply chain for air cargo is emerging in Canada.

  • Air Carriers: The majority of carriers interviewed agreed that the program had been effective in establishing the foundation for a secure supply chain for air cargo, and that this was a positive development for the industry. However, a number of carriers expressed concern that the freight forwarder community was not sufficiently engaged with the program, and may not be ready to implement the new screening requirements as they are phased in.
  • Freight Forwarders: The majority of freight forwarders interviewed indicated that the Program has been relatively effective in establishing the foundation for a secure supply chain. They agreed that the Program has been instrumental in raising awareness among industry players with respect to air cargo security issues and program requirements. Although this may reflect a lack of understanding of current program legislation, some freight forwarders indicated that a more solid foundation can be achieved by making participation in the Air Cargo Security Program mandatory for all freight forwarders.
  • Air Cargo Security Program Staff: The staff interviewed indicated that the Program’s strategy of coupling a secure supply chain with mandatory screening requirements was consistent with international best practices, and the only economically efficient way to secure all of Canada’s air cargo. Program staff also stressed that air cargo security only became an ongoing program in
    2010–11, and that that in 2009–10 Transport Canada did not have a mandate to implement an ongoing program.
  • Transport Canada Air Cargo Inspectors: Responses from Inspectors were mixed. Some indicated the foundation has been implemented, while others said that the foundation is not there in any meaningful sense because the program is not yet targeting the shippers who originate cargo.

Awareness of the Secure Supply Chain

Evaluation and Advisory Services conducted a media scan and content analysis of 650 air cargo security-related articles published in Canadian newspapers between 2005 and 2010. Using an algorithm that considered the placement of air cargo-related references within each story and the potential circulation and audience reach of those stories, the media scan determined that air cargo security was a moderately prominent issue by Canadian standards.[4] As Figure 9 outlines, there were three significant spikes in media coverage related to air cargo security. In 2006 and 2007, the launch of the Air India Commission garnered significant media attention, and the testimony heard in 2007 generated a number of articles commenting on air cargo security as an outstanding problem. In the summer of 2010 there was a coverage spike following the May 24, 2010 announcement of $95.7 million for air cargo security and the June release of the Air India Commission ’s report. In November of that year, following the October 29, 2010 interception of bombs on two all-cargo planes flying from Yemen to the United States, coverage of the air cargo security issue rose again.

Figure 9: Air Cargo Security Media Coverage (2005–2010 and 2010 alone)

Figure 9 includes two related graphs. The first shows the number of air cargo security related newspaper articles published each year between 2005 and 2010 as well as the circulation per year between 2005 and 2010 in millions of readers.
Year # Articles Circulation
2005 80 9,432,122
2006 169 20,340,800
2007 105 13,067,567
2008 18 2,763,829
2009 43 6,355,228
2010 234 45,617,321

The second graph shows the number of the air cargo security related articles published each month in 2010 as well as the circulation per month in 2010 in millions of readers.
Month # Articles Circulation
Jan 2 246,112
Feb 3 193,887
Mar 4 281,373
Apr 1 100,257
May 56 5,565,646
Jun 35 4,322,063
July 6 440,746
Aug 2 63,289
Sep 3 667,313
Oct 5 6,455,651
Nov 105 24,894,400
Dec 12 2,386,584
Total 234 45,617,321

Air India Inquiry (2006–2007) Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 16, 2006: You Get Screened, But Many Don't: Airport Security in Canada is Like a House Where the Front Door is Locked, but the Back Door is Ajar and the Windows are Wide Open. While passenger baggage is screened, air cargo currently goes on board passenger aircraft without a security check. Three months ago the government announced that it was starting a study on how best to inspect air cargo and it hopes to have the results available within two years. How long has it been since 9/11? It would be easy for the casual observer to blame the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority ( CATSA ) for the insecurity of Canadian airports, but this is in fact a Transport Canada problem. Transport Canada creates the regulations that CATSA must follow. Unless they're going to make the same searches on the bottom halves of the planes as they do on the tops, one wonders if the current practice is more for public relations than for security.

Windsor Star, Sept. 16, 2006: Air Safety Crackdown. All checked luggage goes through a five-layered security screening process, which includes X-rays and explosive detection equipment. In the event a suspicious article is found, screening officers will open the luggage in front of the passenger. As of Jan. 1, 2006, all passenger luggage in Canada is screened by explosive-detection equipment. More than 60 million pieces of luggage are screened every year. Mail and cargo is loaded on to airplanes without being checked or screened. The government is starting to study how to best inspect air cargo. Results of that study are expected within two years.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix, June 7, 2007: Air Freight a 'Huge Gap' in Security, Inquiry Told. Kathleen Sweet, a lawyer, author and retired U.S. air force lieutenant-colonel, said air freight, and the workers who load it, are "a huge gap" in aviation security. She said the gap must be closed before another terrorist strike like the June 23, 1985, Air India bombing, which killed 329 people. "We have to do it. There is just too much access to the cargo hold," testified Sweet, who heads a company called Risk Management Security Group. "My unfortunate theory is unless we get on this quickly, a plane's going to go down, it's going to be in the cargo hold and everybody's going to be fighting the next war."

Calgary Herald, June 2, 2007: Senator Calls Lack of Action on Airport Security 'Real Shame' Air India Inquiry Told Workers Seldom Screened. Kenny, chairman of the Senate committee on national security and defence, said workers can take lunches, gym bags or tool boxes right up to planes without anyone looking inside . . . Kenny's committee issued a scathing report on airport security in March, noting that air cargo is not searched and private planes and small floatplane airports are vulnerable to terrorists.

Announcement of New Funding for Air Cargo Security – 2010

Montreal Gazette, May 25, 2010: New Rules for Air Cargo Better Security: $96M in Upgrades for our Airports. The new project will see increased screening of the cargo done by shippers, freight forwarders and air carriers. These "shippers, freight forwarders and air carriers will use newer and more effective technologies and processes to screen cargo" as a part of the new plan.

Vancouver Sun, May 26, 2010: Companies Responsible for Cargo Transport Canada Turns Inspection of Air Freight Over to Shippers. Kenny doesn't think the funding will be enough to ensure adequate security. "It's five years, it's $20 million a year. There are 7,000 shippers in Canada and 750 freight forwarders. Freight moves 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he said. Air Canada would not comment on whether the funding would cover the costs of becoming compliant, and referred financial questions to Transport Canada.

Edmonton Journal, May 25, 2010: Airport Cargo Security Gets a Boost Beefed-Up Screening Procedures Target Terrorism, Minister Says. Liberal Senator Colin Kenny said in an interview Sunday: "I must say I have some difficulty with that. The whole issue of trusting the supply chain is problematic. A supplier may or may not have a secure plant. They have to give it to a trucker and how reliable is that trucker? . . . It probably passes through a number of hands before it gets to the airport."

Discussion of Canadian Air Cargo Security Following the October 29, 2010 Cargo Bomb Plot News, Nov. 1, 2010: Canada Bans Air Cargo from Yemen. Officials on both sides of the Atlantic say they're reviewing air cargo security. In many countries, including Canada, air cargo is often not screened as rigorously as passengers and luggage. "If they can send explosives through air cargo, they can do a tremendous amount of damage to planes, material and even to people," said Peter St. John, an aviation security expert in Winnipeg.

Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Nov. 9, 2010: Toner Cartridges Banned. Andre Gerolymatos, a Simon Fraser University professor specializing in security and terrorism, said the new set of rules indicate the government is being "proactive." "These are very good measures that'll certainly go a long way in deterring people from using packages to get explosives through," he said. "But they'll always try another way. We are reacting and logically so, but we have to anticipate what the next round will be," he said.

Montreal Gazette, Nov. 11, 2010: Toner Cartridge Ban Insignificant: 'Political Gesture.' Rule designed to placate nervous flyers, prof says” – "I don't want to be dismissive and say they're unimportant, but they're kind of (the) flavour of the day," he said. "It's ridiculous for us to assume that any piece of technology or any kind of procedure is going to eliminate security threats all the time. (Threats) evolve too quickly, people are too inventive."

Source: Transport Canada, Evaluation and Advisory Services

A majority (57 per cent) of the articles surveyed focused on the threat of a terrorist attack or the use of screening technologies to mitigate those threats. Federal spending on air cargo security and the development of a secure supply chain were also mentioned, but only in about 18 per cent of the articles surveyed. Most of the articles surveyed used a negative in tone in their discussion of air cargo security. Negative coverage was particularly notable in relation to the Air India Report, which criticized Transport Canada’s Known Shipper rules and identified air cargo as a neglected and vulnerable element of Canadian aviation security (see Figure 10). In contrast, positive coverage followed the announcement of additional funds for air cargo security, and there were a number of positive references to the secure supply chain.

Figure 10: Tone and Prominence of Air Cargo Security Media Coverage

Source: Transport Canada, Evaluation and Advisory Services

Figure 10 illustrates the weighted average prominence, average tone and total circulation for seven air cargo related issues: the Air India bombing, strategic partnerships, screening technologies, the Yemen bomb plot, federal spending on air cargo security, training, compliance and oversight, and air cargo supply chain initiatives.
Air Cargo Security Issues Weighted Average Prominence Average Tone Circulation
Air India Bombing 45% -0.5 34715251
Strategic Partnerships 40% 0 22482657
Screening Technologies 38% -0.3 41278554
Yemen Bomb Plot 45% -0.5 5981350
Federal Spending on Air Cargo Security 40% -0.6 15397185
Training, Compliance & Oversight 41% -0.2 17392202
Supply Chain Initiatives 38% 1.8 10450334
Average of all Issues 41% 0.0 21099648

Co-operation and Interoperability

Figure 11 : Overlaps between Air Cargo Security Program and CBSA

The Collection at National Air Photo Library

The National Air Photo Library's collection spans over 70 years of aerial photography in Canada. Imagery from various years can be found for most areas of Canada. Our standard product is a 25cm x 25cm (10" x 10") vertical aerial photograph contact print. Most of these photographs are monochrome (black and white), but some areas are available in colour or infrared. Each photo is cross-referenced to an index map or flight report that indicates the exact flight path and flight altitude, identifies film type, film number, photo centres, and specifies date, time of exposure, camera and weather conditions for that particular run. These photographs can be readily transformed into a variety of other products.

Over 90% of the aerial photos that the National Air Photo Library has in its collection are monochrome (black and white). Monochrome photography is used primarily for mapping purposes.

Normal colour film, which registers colours as seen by the human eye, is often preferred for any application where identification of shapes must be made quickly and accurately. It helps to differentiate one type of tree from another in forest inventory, for example.

Monochrome near-infrared film produces a different image from conventional film because it is sensitive to near-infrared radiation. "False" colour infrared film registers the chlorophyll content of healthy vegetation in reddish tones rather than in actual green. It can be used to identify diseased or pollution-damaged plants and trees.

Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF French: Aviation royale canadienne, ARC) is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant, responsive and effective airpower". [3] The RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, and operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. [1] [4] Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and chief of the Air Force Staff. [5]

The Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The RCAF also provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.

The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force, which was formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V to form the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command (ADC interceptors), Air Transport Command (ATC airlift, search and rescue), Mobile Command (tactical fighters, helicopters), Maritime Command (anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol), as well as Training Command (TC).

In 1975, some commands were dissolved (ADC, ATC, TC), and all air units were placed under a new environmental command called simply Air Command (AIRCOM French: Commandement aérien). Air Command reverted to its historic name of "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011. [6]

The Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century.


1920–1945: Pre-unification

The Canadian Air Force (CAF) was established in 1920 as the successor to a short-lived two-squadron Canadian Air Force that was formed during the First World War in Europe. Wing Commander John Scott Williams was tasked in 1921 with organizing the CAF, handing command over later the same year to Air Marshal Lindsay Gordon. [7] The new Canadian Air Force was a branch of the Air Board and was chiefly a training militia that provided refresher training to veteran pilots. [8] [9] Many CAF members also worked with the Air Board's Civil Operations Branch on operations that included forestry, surveying and anti-smuggling patrols. [10] In 1923, the CAF became responsible for all flying operations in Canada, including civil aviation. In 1924, the Canadian Air Force, was granted the royal title, becoming the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Most of its work was civil in nature however, in the late 1920s the RCAF evolved into more of a military organization. After budget cuts in the early 1930s, the air force began to rebuild. [ citation needed ]

During the Second World War, the RCAF was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was involved in operations in Great Britain, Europe, the north Atlantic, North Africa, southern Asia, and with home defence. By the end of the war, the RCAF had become the fourth largest allied air force. [11] During WWII the Royal Canadian Air Force was headquartered in 20-23 Lincolns Inn Fields, London. A commemorative plaque can be found on the outside of the building. [ citation needed ]

After the war, the RCAF reduced its strength. Because of the rising Soviet threat to the security of Europe, Canada joined NATO in 1949, and the RCAF established No. 1 Air Division RCAF consisting of four wings with three fighter squadrons each, based in France and West Germany. In 1950, the RCAF became involved with the transport of troops and supplies to the Korean War however, it did not provide RCAF combat units. Members of the RCAF served in USAF units as exchange officers and several flew in combat. Both auxiliary and regular air defence squadrons were run by Air Defence Command. At the same time, the Pinetree Line, the Mid-Canada Line and the DEW Line radar stations, largely operated by the RCAF, were built across Canada because of the growing Soviet nuclear threat. In 1957, Canada and the United States created the joint North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). Coastal defence and peacekeeping also became priorities during the 1950s and 1960s. [ citation needed ]

1968–present: Unification

In 1968, the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army were amalgamated to form the unified Canadian Forces. This initiative was overseen by then Liberal Defence Minister, Paul Hellyer. The controversial merger maintained several existing organizations and created some new ones: In Europe, No. 1 Air Division, operated Canadair CF-104 Starfighter nuclear strike/attack and reconnaissance under NATO's 4 ATAF Air Defence Command: operated McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo interceptors, CIM-10 Bomarc missiles and the SAGE radar system within NORAD Air Transport Command: provided strategic airlift for the NATO and UN Peacekeeping missions and Training Command. Aviation assets of the Royal Canadian Navy were combined with the RCAF Canadair CP-107 Argus long-range patrol aircraft under Maritime Command. In 1975, the different commands, and the scattered aviation assets, were consolidated under Air Command (AIRCOM).

On 9 November 1984, Canada Post issued "Air Force" as part of the Canadian Forces series. The stamps were designed by Ralph Tibbles, based on an illustration by William Southern. The 32¢ stamps are perforated 12 x 12.5 and were printed by Ashton-Potter Limited. [12] In the early 1990s, Canada provided a detachment of CF-18 Hornets for the air defence mission in Operation Desert Shield. The force performed combat air patrols over operations in Kuwait and Iraq, undertook a number of air-to-ground bombing missions, and, on one occasion, attacked an Iraqi patrol boat in the Persian Gulf.

In the late 1990s, Air Command's CF-18 Hornets took part in the Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia, and in the 2000s, AIRCOM was heavily involved in the Afghanistan War, transporting troops and assets to Kandahar. Later in the decade-long war, AIRCOM set up a purpose-specific air wing, Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing, equipped with several CH-146 Griffon and CH-147 Chinook helicopters, CC-130 Hercules, CU-161 Sperwer and leased CU-170 Heron UAVs in support of the Canadian Forces and ISAF mission. The wing stood down on 18 August 2011.

From 18 March to 1 November 2011, the RCAF was engaged in Operation Mobile, Canada's contribution to Operation Unified Protector in Libya. Seven CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft and several other aircraft served under Task Force Libeccio as part of the military intervention.

On 16 August 2011, the Government of Canada announced that the name "Air Command" was being changed to the air force's original historic name: Royal Canadian Air Force (along with the change of name of Maritime Command to Royal Canadian Navy and Land Force Command to Canadian Army). The change was made to better reflect Canada's military heritage and align Canada with other key Commonwealth countries whose military units use the royal designation. [13] The RCAF adopted a new badge in 2013, which is similar to the pre-unification RCAF badge (although placed in the modern frame used for command badges). The Latin motto of Air Command – Sic itur ad astra – which was the motto of the Canadian Air Force when first formed after the First World War (before it became the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1924) was retained. Though traditional insignia for the RCAF was restored in 2015, there has been no restoration of the traditional uniforms or rank structure of the historical service (apart from a rank of "Aviator", which replaced that of "Private" in 2015). [14]

On 17 April 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada was dispatching six CF-18s and military personnel to assist NATO in operations in Eastern Europe. [15]


The Royal Canadian Air Force has about 391 aircraft in service, making it the sixth-largest air force in the Americas, after the United States Air Force, United States Navy, United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and Brazilian Air Force.


Rotary wing

Leased and contractor aircraft

The Canadian Forces have leased aircraft from vendors to help transport troops and equipment from Canada and other locations in the past decade. Transport aircraft have been leased as required.

  • Two aircraft leased from Transwest Air Limited. Used by the Multi-Engine Utility Flight (MEUF) in CFB Trenton. Flown by RCAF pilots, they are used for light transport of personnel and equipment within North America.
  • Twelve civil aircraft are operated by Discovery Air Defence Services for CATS (Contracted Airborne Training Services) and are based at CFB Cold Lake and CFB Bagotville
  • Twelve civil aircraft are operated by Lortie Aviation, formerly Northern Lights International Airlines Ltd.. Based in CFB Cold Lake [31] ex-Swiss Air Force jets

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)


Canadian Army/RCN UAS

Weapons and other equipment

Weapons systems are used by the CF-18 Hornet, CP-140 Aurora, CH-146 Griffon and the CH-148 Cyclone.

Manufacturer Origin Weapon Type In Service Notes
Lockheed Martin United States GBU-10 Paveway II (12, 16 and 24) Laser-guided bomb 1980s Used by CF-18
General Dynamics United States Mark 82 bomb Low drag general-purpose bomb (500 lb) 1970s Used by CF-18
General Dynamics United States Mark 83 bomb Low drag general-purpose bomb (1,000 lb) 1980s Used by CF-18
General Dynamics United States Mark 84 bomb Low drag general-purpose bomb (2,000 lb) 1980s Used by CF-18
Boeing United States Joint Direct Attack Munition [40] A kit to convert a regular bomb into precision-guided munition 2011 Used by CF-18
Raytheon/Hughes United States AGM-65G Maverick Missile Air-to-surface missile 1990s Used by CF-18
Bristol Canada CRV 7 Rocket Folding-fin ground attack rocket 1970s Used by CF-18
Douglas United States AIM-7 Sparrow Medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missile 1980s Used by CF-18
Raytheon/Hughes United States AIM-120 AMRAAM Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile 2000s Used by CF-18
Loral Corp.
United States AIM-9 Sidewinder Heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile 1980s Used by CF-18
General Dynamics/
General Electric
United States M61 20mm Vulcan cannon Air-cooled gatling-style cannon 1980s Used by CF-18
Alliant United States Mark 46 torpedo Air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo 1970s Used by CP-140 Aurora and CH-148 Cyclone (but not by CP-140A Arcturus)
FN Herstal Belgium FN MAG C6 7.62 mm self-defence machine gun 1980s Used by CH-146 Griffon, CH-147F Chinook and CH-148 Cyclone
Dillon Aero United States M134 7.62 mm self-defence machine gun 2011 Used by CH-146 Griffon
Browning Arms Company United States M3M 0.50 cal machine gun 2013 Used by CH-146 Griffon
Manufacturer Origin Name Type In Service Notes
Systems & Electronics, Inc. United States 60K Tunner Material handling equipment 2008 Used with CC-177 transport
JBT AeroTech United States Halvorsen 44K Loaders Truck Aircraft Side Load Unload (TASLU) Loader 2008 4 for use with CC-177 licensed from Static Engineering of Australia
Mobile Arrestor Gear
FMC Corp. United States B-1200 Aircraft towing tractor 2008 Used to tow CC-177 and CC-130

Retired weapons

Weapon Country of manufacture Type In service #
CIM-10 Bomarc-B United States Supersonic missile equipped with a 10 kt W40 (nuclear warhead) 1962 to 1972 N/A
AIR-2 Genie United States Air-to-air rocket with a 1.5 kt W25 (nuclear warhead) 1965 to 1984 N/A
MK-20 "Rockeye" United States Cluster bomb 1980s to 1997 [41] ≈1000


The commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, located at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, commands and provides strategic direction to the Air Force. The commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian NORAD Region, based in Winnipeg, is responsible for the operational command and control of Royal Canadian Air Force activities throughout Canada and worldwide. The RCAF's other Air Division, 2 Canadian Air Division, was established in June 2009, and consists of training establishments.

There are 13 wings across Canada, 11 operational and 2 used for training. Wings represent the grouping of various squadrons, both operational and support, under a single tactical commander reporting to the operational commander. Ten wings also include a Canadian Forces base along with other operational and support units.

The rank of general is held when an air officer is serving as chief of the Defence Staff. The commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force holds the rank of lieutenant-general. Divisions are commanded by major-generals. Brigadier-generals are typically second-in-command of a division. Wings are commanded by colonels. Squadrons are commanded by lieutenant-colonels. Majors are typically second-in-command of squadrons, or flight commanders. Captains, lieutenants and second lieutenants are the junior level leaders in RCAF squadrons and headquarters.

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