Air Canada distances itself from scathing leaked ICAO audit into Canadian air travel safety

View of the wing of the aircraft from the porthole on the background of the runway

Air Canada has distanced itself from a scathing leaked report into the standard of safety in the Canadian air travel industry.

A confidential audit from the International Civil Aviation Organization obtained by The Canadian Press revealed the country’s safety score has fallen dramatically to just 64 out of 100, receiving a C grade for flight safety and oversight, in particular aircraft operations, airports and air navigation.

In a statement, Air Canada said it was “important to note it was not an audit of the safe operation of Canadian aircraft.”

“There are media reports relating to a draft of an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of Transport Canada’s implementation of ICAO’s standards.

“For Air Canada’s part, we have our own rigid internal safety processes. These are evaluated and audited regularly by the International Air Transport Association, the global airline association consisting of 300 members. The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is the gold standard for evaluating safety for airlines and passing it is a condition of membership.

“Our most recent IOSA audit was concluded in November and Air Canada passed with exemplary findings, well above the average. Additionally, we continually engage with other aviation organizations and authorities around the world to promote safety and to share best safety practices,” the statement said.

The report said a nationwide shortage of air traffic controllers and the off-loading of safety responsibilities from authorities to the industry Ross Aimer, CEO of California-based Aero Consulting Experts told The Canadian Press.

“Every other day you hear there’s what we call a near miss. I don’t like that term ’near miss;’ I would like to call it a near collision,” Aimer said.

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