“DROPPED THE BALL:” Delays at Transport Canada Keep Needed Pilots Grounded

Members of the Canadian aviation industry say the federal government is failing to address growing backlogs at Transport Canada, which are making it more difficult for new and existing pilots to get their licences and into the cockpit.

“They’ve completely dropped the ball,” said Dario Matrundola, president of a flight school based at Buttonville Airport northeast of Toronto. As reported by the National Post, Transport Canada’s civil aviation department is struggling to issue the paperwork necessary for pilots to fly, effectively grounding an unknown number of Canadian and foreign pilots who train in the country.

Matrundola says his students have been left waiting for more than a year – applicants typically receive their certificates between 30 and 40 days after submitting their paperwork. In a statement, Transport Canada blamed “current circumstances” for not meeting its usual turnaround, citing “high demand for service, increasing medical complexity and pandemic-related challenges,” among other factors.

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