HAC calls for government to support helicopter industry amidst Covid-19

HAC

Photo by HAC

The Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC) has called for the federal government to provide financial relief to helicopter operators and suppliers to help during the Covid-19 crisis

HAC President Fred Jones addressed an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and three other cabinet ministers. He wrote that the association supported the government’s actions in limiting the spread of the virus, but added that the current situation ‘has the potential to threaten the survival’ of many of the association’s members.

Jones called for the government to give ‘urgently needed’ financial assistance and approve online training for pilots to help them avoid travel.

“We urge you to implement a financial aid package for the air transportation industry, immediately,” Jones wrote.

Since the government urged Canadians to avoid non-essential air travel, projects in the helicopter industry have been cancelled, Jones said.

“The 14-day self-isolation process for employees returning from international travel, and travel restrictions are frustrating our members that need to send their crews outside the country or elsewhere in Canada for training or ground school,” he said.

Jones also asked the government to extend the validity of the current pilot proficiency checks until October 2020. “Thousands of jobs and many communities rely on the operation of the commercial helicopter industry,” he said.