May 15, 2006-05-16
President & CEO
PO Box 14000
Postal Station Airport
Dorval, Quebec H4Y 1H4
Dear Mr. Brewer:
We write to protest in the strongest possible terms Air Canada's recent institution of a $65 charge for transporting firearms. We were alerted to this development by members of our respective associations, and have confirmed that information by visiting Air Canada's web page.
Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association represent more than four million sportsmen and women world wide. Many of our members travel the world with firearms. As you may know, many nations enthusiastically court visiting hunters for their enormous contributions to local economies, and to the tourism industry.
This decision by Air Canada appears to be arbitrary and capricious, and is without basis in regulation. We have confirmed with other airlines serving the same markets as Air Canada that they impose no such "handling" fee for firearms. It should be self-evident that firearms packed into luggage, and tagged and declared under current regulations, impose no additional "handling" cost on the air carrier.
As this decision by Air Canada will have a detrimental impact on hunters, competitive shooters, guide-outfitters and many others who travel with firearms - including Olympic athletes scheduled to visit Vancouver in 2010 to compete in Biathlon and other contest - we would strongly encourage you to revisit this decision and dispense with this unwelcome charge.
If Air Canada insists on exacting this baseless surcharge, we will have no choice but to inform our respective memberships of your decision, and to provide them with information about alternative transportation providers who do not single out traveling firearm owners to impose discriminatory fees. We hope you will be able to reconsider this decision, and look forward to hearing from you.
|Chris W. Cox
NRA-ILA Executive Director