CUPE pushes feds to tighten airline passenger safety rules
A national union representing thousands of flight attendants is using a recent court ruling to push the federal government to tighten airline passenger safety rules.
A Federal Court of Appeal judge ruled last week that Transport Canada couldn’t have reasonably concluded that passenger or crew safety wasn’t compromised when it allowed Sunwing Airlines to increase the ratio of passengers to flight attendants on its aircraft.
The agency’s 2013 decision to allow one attendant for every 50 passengers instead of 40 came despite the airline failing three evacuation tests under the new system.
The ruling also says the airline provided the government with a cursory risk assessment that contained little or no evidence to support its conclusions that safety was not compromised.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which took the government to court over the Sunwing decision, says the Liberal government should force all airlines to use the lower ratio of passengers to crew to promote safety.
CUPE national president Mark Hancock says the ruling should be a major wake-up call for Transport Canada to put the safety of passengers and crew before any other considerations.