20 per cent vacancy rate for licensed pilot inspectors cause for concern: union

Associated Press

OTTAWA - The union representing federal licensed pilot inspectors says one in five inspection jobs is vacant, jeopardizing airline safety.

The Canadian Federal Pilots Association has released a study that shows there are 100 openings for licensed pilot inspectors out of a federal workforce that is supposed to total 499.

The association says that's the highest vacancy rate ever.

The study found that 30 per cent of aviation enforcement jobs are unfilled and 29 per cent of aviation safety system jobs are empty.

Capt. Danial Slunder, the president of the pilots association, says major air carriers such as Air Canada, West Jet and Air Transat are no longer closely inspected because of the staffing shortfall, coupled with a system of airline self-regulation.

Officials from Transport Canada acknowledged to a parliamentary committee earlier this week that staffing levels are not where they should be, more than four years after a 2008 report by the auditor general highlighted inspection shortfalls.

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