ALPA's Communications Department provides information and support for news
media inquiries. An ALPA communications representative can be reached in the Herndon, Va.
office at (703) 481-4440.
October 24, 2003
ALPA Pilots Slam Transport Minister on Rail Announcement
OTTAWA --- Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) pilots in Canada feel betrayed by Transport Minister David Collenette’s announcement today to provide $700 million in additional subsidies to Via Rail at the expense of the industry they cherish.
"As professional pilots, we have a personal stake in the economic health and well-being of this industry. It is ALPA’s view that the myriad of taxes, charges and additional costs that the Government has imposed upon the airline industry have had a significant and negative impact upon its viability. At a time at which, by any measure, the industry is in a state of crisis, the policy direction reflected by today’s announcement is seriously misplaced and unfair," said Capt. Kent Hardisty, president of the Canada Board unit of ALPA. "Airline passengers are expected to pay all costs, through their tickets, including unfair airport rents and security charges collected by the federal government. We have nothing against passenger rail travel, but are only seeking equality and fairness between the modes," said Captain Hardisty.
ALPA calls upon the federal government to review its decision and again calls upon the government to abandon the Security Charge in its entirety and to cease collecting rents from airports.
ALPA, the world’s oldest and largest union of airline pilots, represents 66,000 pilots at 42 carriers in Canada and the U.S. Its web site is http://www.alpa.org.
ALPA CONTACT: Art LaFlamme (613) 569-5668