Consumers' Association of Canada expresses concerns about safety issues, neglect of air travelers needs at Vancouver International Airport

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - The Consumers' Association of Canada is
expressing concern about safety issues at Vancouver International Airport and
neglect of the needs of air travelers at one of Canada's busiest airports.
    Bruce Cran, CAC National President, says a recent decision to dismiss
effective March 1 the experienced wildlife control officers who prevent
dangerous bird strikes like the one that downed an Airbus 320 in New York in
January is inexplicable.
    "It's particularly worrisome that the experienced wildlife control
officers who have been patrolling YVR successfully for years will be replaced
on Sunday March 1 with new workers who will be part-time and casual," Cran
says. "When Vancouver International Airport has millions of birds to deal with
I can't see how this makes any sense."
    And Cran says an incident where a business jet went off the runway after
its nose gear collapsed when it hit plowed snow in early January is also
    "Vancouver International Airport seems to be more concerned about
increasing its shopping and dining facilities and aquariums than dealing with
the most important issue of all - the safety of all air travelers," Cran said.
    Cran said air travel consumers where also extremely inconvenienced when
Vancouver International Airport was unable to deal with snowstorms in the busy
December-January holiday season, forcing the cancellation of many flights.
    "Air travelers at Vancouver International Airport did not receive the
kind of snow removal and de-icing services that a major airport in a cold
weather climate simply has to provide," Cran said. "It's inexcusable that so
many thousands of people were completely inconvenienced and stranded at a time
when they expect to visit family and friends."
    Cran said the Consumers' Association of Canada believes that the current
structure of Vancouver International Airport's Airport Authority is a problem.
    "The Airport Authority is not responsible to any level of government -
that's why it can get away with making decisions that are not in consumers'
best interests," Cran said. "It's time the federal government revisited the
structure and made changes to ensure full accountability and responsibility
for such an important part of our economy."

For further information:

For further information: Bruce Cran, (604) 418-8359

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Consumers' Association of Canada

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