WARMINGTON: Russian plane not the only ground flight at Pearson

Among the many delayed or canceled flights is a Russian Antonov An-124 Cargo plane

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Heading into the weekend, early Friday, more than two dozen inbound and outbound flights were delayed or canceled at Pearson.

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But this plane is grounded.

If you take Highway 427 to the airport, you won’t miss this sight. It is a giant Russian Antonov An-124 Cargo plane, which the federal government ordered to remain on the tarmac in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The Government of Canada continues to take strong and decisive action in response to Russian military action targeting Ukraine,” a statement said. Toronto Sun by Hicham Ayoun, Senior Communications Advisor for Transport Canada. “As part of a series of economic countermeasures against the Russian Federation following its invasion of Ukraine, the Government of Canada closed Canadian airspace on February 27, 2022 to aircraft belonging to the Russia, chartered or operated, including airspace above Canadian territory. waters.”

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That’s expensive for Volga-Dnepr Airlines, based in Ulyanovsk, Russia, which owns the plane.

“The airline is subject to our standard rates and fees to park the aircraft at Toronto Pearson,” the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) said. “It currently costs $1,065.60 for each 24 hour period.”

The company has yet to comment. But that explains the flight delay.

Meanwhile, the chaos for passengers at Pearson continues. According to the media, Air Canada was forced to cancel 10% of its flights during the first week of June. Nearly half a million passengers on international flights to Pearson were stranded last month. One of those affected was former NHL player Ryan Whitney who called Pearson the “worst place on earth” after suffering delays and cancellations as he tried to get home to Boston.

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Conservative transport critic, MP for Thornhill, Melissa Lantsman, said tweeted“End of warrants. Stop random testing. Scrap ArriveCan.

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However, citing the “safety” of COVID-19, the federal government is reluctant to change course. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra told reporters the government was working on solutions.

“More help is on the way!” he tweeted. “(the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) has now hired over 850 new officers across Canada,” which “will help you get through security faster” and “reduce wait times.”

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Whether it’s hiring more pilots, customs officers, baggage handlers, air traffic controllers, they have to do it. Something has to give. As Mayor John Tory said, Pearson is Toronto’s business “gateway” and needs to operate efficiently.

“This is where people who want to come live here, invest here, or work here,” Tory said this week. “We should all be at the table to resolve issues at the airport and they should be resolved quickly.”

He is right. But Alghabra said “this phenomenon is happening at airports all over the world.”

It’s a hard sell for Whitney who tweeted a link to buy “Pearson Airport Sucks” t-shirts. Either way, what is clear is that there are serious problems at Pearson that need to be addressed.

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We apologize, but this video failed to load.

This massive cargo plane sitting on the tarmac illustrates the turmoil there. It appears that this late May flight to China from Anchorage, Alaska, with a stopover in Pearson, was caught in the middle of Canada’s response to the war.

“The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) prohibits all aircraft, regardless of country of registry, owned, chartered, leased, operated or otherwise controlled directly or indirectly by a person related to the Russian Federation or by a company or an entity incorporated or formed under the laws of the Russian Federation,” Transport Canada said. “The aircraft cannot take off in Canadian territorial airspace as it would be in violation of NOTAM. The latter remains in place and there are no plans to revise or change it at this time.

Until there, a Russian plane on the side of the highway is a symbol of traffic jam at Pearson International.

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