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2004 Netletter #808 Jan 25/04 - The NetLetter

#808 Jan 25/04 - The NetLetter
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Subject: [The NetLetter] NetLetter nr 808 Jan 25/04 - The NetLetter
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T H E                    _| TCA |_
_|| AIR |/|_
N E T L E T T E R   >  CANADA   <
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( For retirees of the new Air Canada family)

Number 808 Jan 25th., 2004. We first published in October 1995.
Circulation: 2700+


Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson   -      Co-pilot  - Terry Baker


To get in touch with either editor/pilot our  email address is
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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. Nice to know.
Parking Discounts for all Air Canada Employees at any Park’N Fly
location across Canada. Active and retired Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz
employees can take advantage of a 50 per cent discount for leisure travel
on SelfPark and Valet Parking at any Park’N Fly location across Canada,
including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, Calgary, Edmonton and
Vancouver. To obtain the discount you will be required to quote the
applicable coupon code, which is posted on the Employee Discounts page of
Aeronet. You will be required to present your Air Canada identification
card. Park’N Fly is Canada’s only national parking company and all
locations are conveniently open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
(Send us an email for the applicable code required - eds)

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. Need to know.
Tammy Stuebs of Employee Communications sends this information -
Separate Fuel Surcharge on Employee Pass Travel Eliminated

As you may remember earlier this month, Air Canada announced that it is
including the fuel surcharge in the price of our base fares. Subsequently,
we’ve decided to take the same steps for employee pass travel. Effective
Jan. 19, 2004, the separate $20 fuel surcharge will no longer be applied to
pass travel. Instead a reduced surcharge will be incorporated into the
individual segment service charges. As a result, pass travel service
charges for employees, retirees and their eligible dependents will increase
by 50 cents for each flight segment on all routes.  A $1.50 increase will
be added, per flight segment on all routes for parent and partner travel.

The reduced surcharge formula will apply to all trips that begin on or
after Jan. 19.  If you started your trip before Jan. 19, the old service
charges will apply, plus the applicable fuel surcharge.

The consolidation of the fuel surcharge into the service charge grid would
have normally resulted in a higher per segment service charge increase;
however we were able to limit the amount of the increase as a result of
other cost savings at Employee Travel.  These cost savings were achieved
through the elimination of the payroll payment option and increased usage
of the Employee Travel Site for travel bookings by active and retired
employees.

Thank you to all active and retired employees who support the self-service
tools.

Employee travel embargo to Delhi lifted. The recent embargo on all space
available personal travel from Toronto to Delhi will be lifted as of Jan.
26. Please keep in mind that employee travel may still be a little
difficult due to heavy passenger loads and unexpected payload limitations.
Therefore, if you’re still planning to travel to India, we recommend that
you research alternate routings and have the appropriate tickets for your
back-up travel choices ordered before you begin your trip, as ZED fare
ticketing is not possible in Delhi.

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. Relief to know!
From the Pionair newsletter issued by Gord Dalziel -
Pensions and Benefits Committee
Subject: Accomplishments to date
Dear Pionairs and Fellow Retirees,
Now is a good time to step back for an overview of what has been
accomplished to date in our goal to protect our pensions and benefits.
First of all, the non union and ACPA retirees achieved a major strategic
advantage by becoming an integral part of the Beneficiary Group that
represents all unions and other parties concerned with Pensions & Benefits
in the Air Canada CCAA proceedings. Although there were some difficulties
in the initial stages, issues were resolved and the result has been that we
have had far more clout and leverage than if our group had stood alone. And
the Beneficiary Group has had more strength as a group than if it had been
fragmented.
Next, we obtained two Orders from the Court, recognizing us and
legitimizing our role and direct participation in the entire CCAA process.
No one now questions our right to attend in Court or to receive the flow of
documents that are circulated daily. We have been very successful in
raising the profile of retirees, far beyond that which is usual in cases
such as this. It is easy in a CCAA case to brush retirees aside as " no
longer contributing " to the on-going solution, and only dragging down the
restructuring with "unproductive " costs. In this proceeding everyone now
accepts without a doubt that retirees must be protected.
Air Canada agreed to subsidize our legal costs by $20,000 monthly at first
and now $ 25,000 monthly. Air Canada also accepted that all pension
payments (both registered and supplementary plans ) continue to be made
each month. That assurance was not automatic and was a considerable relief
to our members, who were very worried last Spring that next month's cheque
might not be received. >From early April on, we worked through the Monitor
to press the need for that assurance. It came and has become so routine as
to now become unassailable.

The initial April 1 Court Order allowed Air Canada to potentially do
extraordinary things to the detriment of retirees. We worked with union
counsel and fortunately the courts put those threats into limbo, where they
remain. The reported large pension fund deficiency has since been our major
focus and, though progress has been slower than we would have liked, the
fact is that progress on most aspects of this restructuring has been slower
than usual. The equity investment process began in earnest last September
and was just resolved last week. This relegated other issues, such as
pension funding as a lesser priority on Air Canada's agenda since November.
In addition, Air Canada now accepts that all current service payments must
be made notwithstanding that the court on April 1 exempted them from payment.
In fact $110 million is now being paid for 2003.

The largest part of the current solvency deficiency is due to investment
asset shrinkage in the stock market. It is based on the most pessimistic
assumption of immediate wind-up, rather than on the more likely assumption
that CCAA improvements in Air Canada’s viability will enable it to fly for
the foreseeable future. It is likely the shrinkage has improved due to
recovery of the stock market in recent months.

Quite apart from that, we have acceptance by Air Canada of its obligations
to make yearly payments above the current service costs. Depending on
whether the final payment schedule is closer to that proposed by OSFI, the
Beneficiary Group or Air Canada (they are not substantially dissimilar) the
solvency deficiency (even without investment returns recovery) could be
cleared up within 10 years or less. It is in the best interests of retirees
that any pension agreement includes downside risk protection yet does not
stretch company resources so much that its solvency is endangered. Air
Canada’s survival and its ability to operate profitably is the best
guarantee for continued current pension and benefits.

Continued work will be needed to bring this to a conclusion satisfactory to
all.
We will keep you informed as progress takes place.
Communications Committee
Working Together to Protect our Pensions and Benefits

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Patience please, if you’re waiting for a new Air Canada identification
card. If you’re a newly retired employee or an active employee whose
identification card was lost, destroyed or demagnetized and you’re waiting
for a new one, you may have to be patient. Due to unforeseen reasons, there
is a current backlog with issuing new Air Canada identification cards. This
backlog is expected to be cleared up soon. In the meantime, if you’ve
recently retired you can continue to use your “active” employee
identification card until you receive your new card. If you’re waiting for
a replacement card, you can still use a valid credit card at the Check-in
Kiosks and provide any picture ID at boarding. The new card now also has a
new look; it will be in one colour, ocean mist (grey silver), it’s no
longer embossed and will not reflect your travel priority. These changes
were necessary to make the production of ID cards simpler and more cost
efficient. No worries when travelling with a paper ticket. Since the new
paper ticket stock doesn’t require you to emboss your identification card,
you can manually fill in the necessary information, such as your
identification number, priority and service date. The old paper ticket
stock is still acceptable and also does not need to be embossed.

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. Tony Coleman - Director of London, England Pionairs sends this -
Heathrow Will Boast World's Most Advanced Airport IT System

Heathrow's gbp4bn Terminal Five (T5) will use an XML-based central messaging
hub to create the most advanced airport IT system in the world.
The hub will help manage the risk and complexity inherent in airport
technology by creating a standard interface between multiple systems, says
Heathrow operator BAA.
A terminal is as much an information interchange as a transport
interchange, says Nick Gaines, head of IT for the T5 programme.
'Messages fly between air traffic control, airline systems, airport
operators, handling agents, cleaning and catering services and so on,' he
said.
'Historically these have been disparate standalone systems with unique
interfaces created for each purpose. But for T5 we are looking to build a
standard way all these different systems can talk to each other.'
Reducing the dependency between systems is key to reducing risk, says
Gaines.
'Airport IT is high-value, high-complexity and high-risk. Our purpose is to
reduce the dependency between systems by using interfaces in a standard
language and using a tool to manages those interfaces that is distinct from
the individual applications,' he said.
The plan for T5 is part of a common strategy for BAA, which operates seven
UK airports including Gatwick and Stansted. By adopting the same principles
and technologies for all its sites, BAA can take an incremental approach to
the new technology and be sure is it well-proven before the opening of the
new Heathrow terminal.
'T5 has an estimated capacity of 30 million passengers per annum so it's
not the sort of place where we'd wish to pilot technology,' said Gaines.
Most new terminals open late because integrating the IT systems is more
complex than expected, he says.
'Our strategy is different because we are trying to reduce the complexity a
long way before the opening.'
BAA expects to sign the deal for the supply of the hub in April and go live
with the first systems in 18 months to two years.
'T5 is opening in early 2008 so we would like to have some proven
technology in use in 2006,' said Gaines.

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. Bill Norberg sends this informtion -
I noticed the item in the letter regarding North Star radio equipment.I do
not know who is wanting what information but I was very closely involved
with the North Star and in particular its radio instrument and electronic
equipment.
The North Star used an RTA1B Transceiver which was the main HF
communication unit. We had a serious communication problem with it during
the early days of North Star Atlantic operations.At times we were out of
radio contact from either side of the pond. We were told to fix it or have
to re-route our flights so as to stay in radio contact.
We developed an antenna loading unit in Dorval which properly matched the
RTA1B transmitter output to the antenna which was usually the # 2 antenna.
At the same time we changed the antenna configurations by grounding them at
the vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer.The matching units were tuned
manually for dip by the R/Os until we had a unit that was automatically
tumed when channels were changed.
The TA-12G was the MF and LF transmitter. We also had the RT18-ARC1 VHF
transceiver which was used for local communications. We had the Red and
Green ADF systems that used MN-26L receivers coupled to Loop Control units.
We used the Bendix PB-10 autopilot which had Altitude control,Automatic
elevator trim tab.It was coupled to the Flight path Control system that
used ILS input that could bring the aircraft in on autopilot to within 25
feet of the runway. It used 4 throttle servo units that kept the engines at
the correct power for approach. The autopilot system obtained its
directional heading data from the Fluxgate Compass system.
The FPC system was placed in operation after we modified and flight tested
each aircraft individually. Its use was at the option of the flight crew.
It was a system much ahead of the times and the flight crew were quite
cautious in its use. They were fascoinating times. The time was 1950 to 1951.
Regards Bill Norberg

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. Smile.
Lawson "Trem" Tremellen sends us this one -
As the crowded airliner is about to take off, the peace is
shattered by a boy who picks that moment
to throw a wild temper tantrum. No matter what his
frustrated, embarrassed mother does to try to
calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously
and kick the seats around him.
Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, a man in a Marine
uniform is seen slowly walking up the aisle.
Stopping the flustered mother with an upraised hand,
the courtly, soft-spoken Marine leans down, motioning
toward his chest, and whispers something into the
boy's ear.
Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his
mother's hand, and quietly fastens his seat belt.
All the other passengers burst into spontaneous
applause.
As the Marine slowly makes his way back to his
seat, one of the flight attendants touches his sleeve
and asks quietly, "Excuse me, sir, but could I ask
you what magic words you used on that little boy?"
The Marine smiles serenely and gently confides, "I
showed him my pilot's wings, service stars, and battle
ribbons, and explained that they entitle me to throw
one passenger out the plane door, on any flight I choose."

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