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On Final: Establishing a flight path

Over the past year, the business aviation industry in Canada has experienced many highs and lows in a volatile economy and the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) has not gone without its challenges.

May 18, 2010  By Sam Barone

Over the past year, the business aviation industry in Canada has experienced many highs and lows in a volatile economy and the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) has not gone without its challenges.

As most of the aviation community is now aware, the recent decision made by Transport Minister John Baird to repatriate the Private Operator Certificate (POC) program has been met with disappointment; however, as an industry and as an association, we will continue to move forward. Now, more than ever, the CBAA’s role in liaising with Transport Canada becomes an integral part of our business planning in order to facilitate a smooth transition for our operator members.

We will continue to work closely with Transport Canada as well as increase our role as Canada’s voice for business aviation through government relations and getting our members the information they need in order to do business efficiently and effectively. How will we accomplish this? A CBAA Board of Directors Transition Committee has been formed and CBAA staff are already working with Transport Canada to ensure a smooth transition for POC holders.

The CBAA is constantly working to improve, refine, and ensure that aviation remains a safe, secure, dependable, efficient and sustainable form of transportation, not only within Canada, but around the world. Despite the changes to the POC program, it is business as usual at CBAA.


A new strategy

The CBAA is working on a new business plan that will incorporate all of the concerns expressed by our members recently. A new “go-forward” strategy is being developed to shape the future CBAA. Although the decision by Transport Canada changes the CBAA business model, our role as Canada’s voice for business aviation in Ottawa and around the world is even more vital.

Globally and within Canada, business aviation continues to exhibit sustained growth and is a key economic enabler, providing employment to Canadians at many levels – the result being significant contributions to the local and national economy through aircraft manufacturing, sales, service, support, maintenance, repair and operational activities that contribute positively to our national balance of trade.

The use of an aircraft as a business tool has enabled many Canadian firms to establish, manage and maintain a competitive and productive edge in both the domestic and international marketplaces. Our members are Canada’s largest employers, represent every economic sector in Canada and play a vital role to ensure that Canada’s Economic Action Plan is realized – both in urban centres and northern and remote communities.

It is for these reasons among many others that CBAA is proud to represent our members and ensure their voices are heard within the aviation community. Currently, the CBAA is working on several hot topic files, including the POC transition issues and ongoing operations issues. We continue to work with the government on civil aviation matters and aviation policies, and attend and monitor House of Commons Standing Committees on Transport, Infrastructure and Community. We are actively involved in representing the business aviation community in airport issues, foreign affairs, Transport Canada FBO Security Consultations, and continuous liaisons with the Canadian Transportation Agency and Canada Border Service Agency.

The CBAA also works closely with like-minded organizations and industry stakeholders such as Nav Canada, CATSA, NBAA, IBAC, ICAO, EASA and the FAA.

Our current files include environmental policies concerning business aviation and, most pressingly, aviation security surrounding the G8/G20 Business Summit in Toronto.

The CBAA looks forward to its new role and to continuing to meet the challenges the industry currently faces.  We are here to serve our members and the CBAA appreciates the continued support.

Sam Barone is president and CEO of the Canadian Business Aviation Association.


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