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NAV CANADA workforce reductions, streamlining operations


September 23, 2020
By UAV Canada Staff

NAV CANADA on September 22 outlined its decision to eliminate permanent jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact global air traffic and overall the aviation industry. The company is also taking steps to streamline operations, which includes launching level-of-service reviews for 24 aerodromes (locations listed below), as well as the closure of flight information centres in Winnipeg and Halifax.

NAV CANADA has now reduced more than 720 jobs or 14 per cent of the workforce, including its previously announced reduction in staffing of temporary employees in the spring and early retirements. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, NAV CANADA had 5,100 employees nationwide.

“Undoubtedly, the company is in the midst of the toughest moment in its history,” said Neil Wilson, NAV CANADA’s president and CEO. “NAV CANADA is not immune to the economic downturn and severe financial impacts the aviation industry is experiencing,”

Prior to the layoffs announced yesterday, NAV CANADA reduced management compensation, deferred retroactive wage increases with bargaining units and offered a voluntary retirement program to minimize cash outflows. NAV CANADA has also benefited from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program.

NAV CANADA states it is working closely with labour unions to adapt the size of its workforce in response to the persisting low air traffic levels. The cuts are across all departments and include most of the current cohort of operational students.

In relation to the closing of flight information centres in Winnipeg and Halifax, NAV CANADA notes pilots and dispatchers will continue to receive the same vital information they need, including flight-planning services, in-depth interpretive weather information and en-route flight information, which will be provided by its remaining flight information centres. Air traffic services will not be impacted by this change.

NAV CANADA notes it mandate requires it to continue to fulfill a commitment to efficiently run Canada’s air navigation system, ensuring that the services supplied align with market demands. A private, non-profit corporation, NAV CANADA provides air traffic control, airport advisory services, weather briefings and aeronautical information services for more than 18 million square kilometers of Canadian domestic and oceanic airspace.

In the coming weeks, NAV CANADA explains aeronautical studies will be launched for multiple aerodromes to assess the level of service required to provide safe and efficient operations for airline, air cargo and general aviation customers. Aeronautical studies apply a safety-focused and Transport Canada-regulated process.

“The aviation industry is contracting and faces profound changes. We continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic and will continue to take steps as they are necessary to align service with traffic levels while maintaining the integrity of the air navigation system,” said Wilson.

Aeronautical studies will be launched to assess levels of service in the following areas:

Saint-Jean QC
Castlegar BC
Churchill MB
High Level AB
Peace River AB
Brandon MB
Fort Nelson BC
Fort St John BC
Inuvik NWT
Lloydminster AB
Norman Wells NWT
Port Hardy BC
Prince Albert SK
Red Deer AB
Sept-Îles QC
Dawson Creek BC
Fort McMurray AB
Flin Flon MB
The Pas MB
Buffalo Narrows SK
Kuujjuarapik QC
Blanc Sablon QC
Natashquan QC
Sydney NS