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Rapid testing at Calgary airport first of many steps in saving aviation industry

October 22, 2020 - 12:00 AM

October 22, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor welcomes the Federal Government's announcement to provide the option of rapid COVID-19 tests for international air passengers. 

"This announcement is a good step forward in saving our aviation industry while protecting Canadians amid the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "International aviation bodies are urging countries to follow universal standards for passengers. With current trials showing that 14-day quarantines are longer than necessary, it made no sense whatsoever for Canada to have different requirements than many other countries."

This morning the federal government and the Alberta provincial government announced that a new pilot program starting November 2, 2020, will provide the option for a rapid COVID-19 test for travellers returning home at Calgary International Airport. The government plans to roll out the new testing protocol in phases, with Calgary being its first airport location.

"Canada needs to think nationally and strategically for our aviation sector to emerge from the COVID-era able to compete and once again contribute to the thriving country it helped create," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The federal government must ensure workers are not left behind."

Unifor is lobbying the federal government to establish an aviation recovery strategy that focuses on a safe and science-based approach to border controls, an industry support package and a vision for the future that ensures a safe and thriving industry for passengers and workers.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at or 647-448-2823 (cell).