National Air Summit: Ottawa, Stakeholders Share Takeaways to Avoid Repeats of Summer Chaos


On 24NOV, Canada's Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, led a National Summit on the Recovery of the Air Sector that his ministry had called earlier this fall.  Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault, and Alghabra's Parliamentary Secretary, Annie Koutrakis, also participated in the event, along with industry partners, including airports, airlines, industry associations, labour groups, consumer rights groups, and government departments and agencies.

The purpose of the Summit was to discuss critical issues facing the passenger air industry and system - and the future of the air sector in Canada.

“The air industry was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as passenger volumes increased by over 280% last summer, the industry faced a new crisis of congestion and delays," said Alghabra in a statement.

"We came together over the summer to address those challenges and again today to discuss important lessons learned and the way forward in advance of the busy holiday travel season. From advancing digital technologies to enhancing passenger rights, we are working hard to find the right solutions for Canadian travellers—to keep air travel safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable into the future.”

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Prior to the Summit, Transport Canada invited air sector stakeholders to share their views in an online survey, and the ministry says those responses will "inform the work of Transport Canada, along with other government and industry partners, as they develop approaches to support Canada’s air sector recovery and improvements in services for travellers."

“We need to continue to work together to ensure our aviation industry fully recovers and Canadians have the air travel opportunities they require," said Koutrakis. "It was our pleasure to meet with our country’s airlines, airports and other important stakeholders to discuss next steps to improve and grow this vitally important sector.”

During the Summit, participants covered a broad range of challenges, strategies, and next steps, including:

  • COVID-19 lessons learned and challenges for the future
  • Supporting digital transformation
  • Managing costs and infrastructure
  • Integrated management of services at airports, including through data management
  • Transparency, accountability and passenger rights

Transport Canada says it will continue to collaborate with partners to improve air transport system performance with a particular focus on the upcoming holiday season, and ensuring further improvements in advance of summer 2023.

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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