Hot Air: (1)-Air Canada’s New Logo & the tradeoffs of over security

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While I’ve enjoyed covering topics in detail, I’ve noticed that I’m failing to cover smaller news stories. To try and stay abreast of current events in Canadian aviation, I’ve decided to start a “quick hit” segment in addition to my detailed posts. Titled “Hot Air”, I’m going to provide my own take on a couple of current topics in Canadian aviation. While I won’t rule out coming back to these topics and covering them in greater detail at a later date, these “Hot Air” segments will provide basic information and include my personal opinion. Over time, I may look at adding more new features to EHviation and generating more social media content.

Air Canada has celebrated its 80th year of operations with a new corporate logo and livery. The design, which was unveiled by the Canadian flag carrier at its major hubs on February 9th, 2017, brings back a number of elements from Air Canada’s previous liveries while maintaining a future driven philosophy.  The previous Frosted Leaf design, which was unveiled in 2004, signified the carrier’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and celebrated its new fleet of Embraer regional jets and Boeing 777’s. In similar fashion, the new livery will be used to showcase Air Canada’s new 737 Max aircraft and its Bombardier C-Series Jets.

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Air Canada has refined its corporate logo and livery, moving away from the Frozen Leaf back to the iconic “Rondelle”; the new design, unveiled February 9th, 2017, has strong ties to the carriers past while also looking towards the future. (Photo Credits: John Jamieson, April 16th, 2018, YYC)

From a personal standpoint, I love Air Canada’s decision to go back to a darker tail. I’m reminded of the classic aircraft which made up the carriers long haul fleet: the long retired “Gimli Glider” (767-200), the flagship A340-300, and Air Canada’s mixed fleet of Boeing 747’s which, for their remaining years, flew with an iconic red maple leaf stretched across a dark green canvas. While there are a few elements that I don’t care for (in particular, the font used in the Air Canada titles), I think the overall design will be popular amongst aviation enthusiasts and passengers alike.

While there are a few elements that I don’t care for (in particular, the font used in the Air Canada titles), I think the overall design will be popular amongst aviation enthusiasts and passengers alike.

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Vancouver Airport’s new “eyesore”; the battle over aircraft photography locations

On a less happy note, I’ve started to notice that airports are doing more to eliminate exposed viewing areas. While I acknowledge that we’re living in a post 9-11 world where airports have a security first agenda, the elimination of prime photography locations and viewing areas hurts positive relationships with local spotters. This location at Vancouver airport was widely regarded as the prime viewing location for action on Runway 26R (the main runway for Arrivals). In the summer of 2016, the Vancouver Airport decided that the stretch of pavement directly in front of this spotting location was the best location for a security checkpoint. The spotting location has been ruined.

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It has become much harder to take these types of photographs since the security checkpoint was erected (YVR, 7/26/2014, JJ)

Now, some may correctly point out that the parking lot was owned by Avis Rental Car and that the airport had every right to build a checkpoint where it wishes; however, I feel disappointed that there was no outreach to the community of aircraft enthusiasts. Again, some may say there’s no requirement to make an outreach and ask  “Does Vancouver even have an aircraft-spotting club to contact?” or “Why should they be involved in this type of decision and made aware of possible changes?

Having been recently approached by security officials over my photography, I have first-hand experience of meeting concerned officials. I have always tried my best to be cooperative as opposed to confrontational. This is not only to prevent any potential punishment but I feel, as an individual, I represent local plane spotters. I think that through a deeper relationship aircraft spotters can help security officials by staying on the lookout for potential threats. However, there needs to be a symbiotic relationship; unless both parties feel they’re benefiting, there will be limited interest in developing strong cooperation.

Updated August 7th, 2017: I interacted with the Securigaurd Volunteer division at the “YVR Spotters Picnic” and have slightly changed my opinions on this matter. However, I still feel that there needs to be a greater public outreach to enhance cooperation in the aviation community.

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