September 16, 2014
Premier Jim Prentice today announced his intent to sell the Alberta government’s Air Transportation Services (ATS) planes.
Premier Prentice and his Cabinet met yesterday and are moving quickly to change the way the Government and its representatives conduct themselves.
The Cabinet recognizes the primary importance of accessing Alberta’s rural and remote communities. They concluded that government- owned planes is not an appropriate way to meet that need and the ATS fleet will be sold. The air fleet will be disposed of in a manner that offers the most cost-effective travel alternative, realizes the value of the assets, and treats staff respectfully.
“The Alberta government is no longer in the business of owning planes. I have instructed officials to begin an RFP that will provide best overall value to access communities where the distance is too far to drive or commercial flights are not available.”
Premier Jim Prentice
Effective immediately, Premier Prentice and Ministers will be expected to fly commercially whenever possible. There will be a transition period pending the closing of the RFP. In the interim, access to government and chartered flights for Ministers will be considered when commercial options are not available and will require prior approval from the Premier’s Office. The Premier has instructed government officials to work closely to assist staff affected by the sale of the ATS planes.
Last month’s Special Duty Report from Alberta’s Auditor General identified several misuses of government aircraft. The report also showed that the ATS program cost $3.9 million more than comparable travel alternatives in 2012.