Minister Fletcher addresses Western Canadian Aviation Forum, stresses the importance of a strong and competitive aviation sector to Canada's economy

WINNIPEG, May 3, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) and MP for Charleswood—St. James—Assinniboia, today addressed key decision makers from Western Canada's aviation industry during the Western Canadian Aviation Forum hosted by the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on May 2-3, 2013.

Building on the forum's theme of Maximum Velocity - Unleashing the Power of Aviation, Minister Fletcher highlighted the growth and success of Western Canada's air industry and acknowledged the importance of a strong and competitive aviation sector to Canada's economy. Canada's aviation sector accounts for approximately 100,000 jobs and $6 billion in economic activity, and feeds a tourism sector that generates some $18 billion in annual spending in Canada.

"Our government is committed to helping our air industry achieve growth by working with airlines, airports and the tourism industry, while addressing the challenges they face," said Minister Fletcher. "Under Canada's Blue Sky policy, we are aggressively pursuing the international air market and have negotiated new or expanded air transport agreements covering over 70 countries."

"Canada's aviation sector is a leader worldwide," added Minister Fletcher. "We have one of the safest air transportation systems in the world and we are the natural home of the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)." Montreal has been hosting ICAO since 1947 and Canada is committed to signing a new 20-year agreement with ICAO to maintain the stability of its headquarters.

The Minister also recognized Western Canadian airports' world-class services, noting Victoria International Airport and Winnipeg International Airport as 2012 winners of Airports Council International's Airport Service Quality Awards. He also noted that Vancouver International Airport was named best airport in North America for the third year in a row as part of the 2012 Skytrax World Airport Awards. "Our air services are growing," Minister Fletcher added. "From 2002 to 2011, traffic at Canadian airports went from 78 million passengers to 112 million and international passenger traffic is driving much of this growth."

The two-day Western Canadian Aviation Forum is an important initiative that brings together stakeholders to discuss ways of ensuring that the aviation sector in Canada lives up to its potential as a facilitator of economic growth and prosperity. For more information about the forum, please follow this link.

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Contacts:

Brayden Akers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State (Transport)
Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSSTwitterFacebookYouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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