SHERBROOKE, QC, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Determined to get Transport Canada to add the Sherbrooke airport to the list of airports designated by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), elected officials from eight regional county municipalities (MRCs) in the region, took part in a broad mobilization effort this afternoon at Sherbrooke's Grand Times Hotel.
"Of the 19 Canadian urban areas with a population of more than 200 000, Sherbrooke is the only one not served by a national airline!" said Sherbrooke Mayor Bernard Sévigny, when speaking to the prefects and mayors.
"The absence of commercial air service to major economic centres in Canada is hindering the economic development efforts of our region," he continued, before turning the floor over to Nicole Robert and Colette Roy-Laroche, Prefect of the MRC du Haut-Saint-François, and Mayor of Lac-Mégantic, respectively.
"Functional airport infrastructure is essential to the development of our region and our cities and towns, and the Sherbrooke airport is the best located to serve the large area that southern Quebec encompasses," noted Nicole Robert.
The Mayor of Lac-Mégantic also delivered a vibrant plea for the designation of the Sherbrooke airport. "After the tragedy we've experienced, now more than ever, the airport has become a vital tool for the development and recovery of Lac-Mégantic," said Colette Roy-Laroche. "We must act quickly if we don't want to jeopardize the future of our young people."
The mobilization activity concluded with the signing of a letter addressed to Minister of Transport, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, by elected officials from the MRCs of Sherbrooke, Coaticook, Haut-Saint-François, Val-Saint-François, Granit, Les Sources, Memphrémagog and Les Appalaches.
A major mobilization
Over the past several months, the Ville de Sherbrooke has also obtained support from the 145 chambers of commerce that are members of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, as well as from some 30 well-known individuals and representatives of major local and regional businesses and institutions.
CATSA designation means that passenger and baggage security screening services are provided in airports offering commercial air service. This screening service then authorizes airlines to disembark their passengers directly in the secure area of the airport of destination, thus avoiding significant delays.
Currently, CATSA has 89 designated airports and maintains that it cannot make any changes to this list. However, CATSA Aerodrome Designation Regulations were modified on December 23, 2004 upon recommendation by Transport Canada, to remove from the list of designated airports, La Grande-3 and La Grande-4, and to add those of Red Deer, Alberta, and Rivière-Rouge (Mont-Tremblant), Quebec.
SOURCE: Ville de Sherbrooke
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