NACC Reacts To New Testing Requirements

The National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) was quick to respond to the federal government’s Dec. 30, 2020 announcement that it is implementing a plan that will require all international passengers arriving in Canada to have a negative PCR test result 72 hours prior to their arrival.

NACC president and CEO, Mike McNaney said in a statement that: “Over the course of the pandemic, the Canadian aviation industry has been calling on the government for months to introduce a coordinated and systematic testing regime, in conjunction with industry, in order to avoid a rushed and disjointed rollout of testing requirements.”

McNaney made it clear that the Dec. 30, 2020 announcement was made “without prior coordination with industry, and with many major operational and communication details still to be determined.”

NACC’s boss continued: “At a broader level, the announcement only addresses one element of the path forward – the utilization of testing to help further protect public health. We strongly believe it must also be utilized in conjunction with measures to reduce quarantine levels, as is being done in countries all around the world.”

McNaney also pointed out that: “Canada’s major airlines have invested millions of dollars to protect the health and safety of our passengers and employees, and protect public health.  In conjunction with our airport partners, the industry has initiated various testing programs in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, sharing all data and testing protocols with federal officials.”

He continued: “This industry initiated activity was undertaken to drive a systematic approach to addressing COVID-19.  The implementation of the new testing requirement must be used as a springboard to a more coordinated approach to mitigate risk, and implement science-based policy with respect to quarantine measures.”

And McNaney concluded: “While industry will do all it can to implement the new requirements, and ensure passengers are aware of their obligations, given the lack of detail and prior consultation this is going to be a very challenging exercise, the complexity of which the government must not underestimate.”

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