Several Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft sit at Windsor International Airport on March 18, 2019. Photo courtesy MP Brian Masse's constituency office.

MP concerned about Boeing 737s grounded in Windsor

The appearance of a number of aircraft recently grounded due to safety concerns has a local member of Parliament seeking an explanation.

The planes, identified as Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, were seen and photographed on Monday morning by staff members for Windsor West MP Brian Masse. This is the same type of jet that has been grounded nationwide and barred from flying in Canadian airspace in the wake of last week’s crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

Masse, the NDP’s innovation, science and economic development critic on Parliament Hill, has twice contacted Minister of Transport Marc Garneau for information. Masse told that there are concerns over safety and cost that have been brought to his attention.

“Several planes have been moved to the Windsor airport. That’s a safety issue for ourselves, especially¬†as they are not only just sitting there but waiting for a decision-making place about the next stage,” said Masse.

The MP said the safety concern relates to the fact that in the Flight 302 disaster, as well as a similar incident in Indonesia in October 2018, the problem occurred during takeoff. Masse is also worried about the potential financial cost to the city of Windsor for keeping these planes while they are grounded.

Masse said he contacted Garneau Monday morning after not receiving a response over the weekend, and that all he wants to know is what kind of plan the government has for communities that are keeping these aircraft.

“It’s a reasonable expectation,” said Masse. “If we’re going to host planes that have been grounded, both coming into our community and leaving our community, we need to make sure that everything is done with a responsible planning aspect, and people know our role as a city hosting these planes.”

The order by the federal government to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 jets came down on Wednesday, one day after Garneau told The Globe and Mail that grounding the planes was “premature”. The planes have also been ordered grounded in the U.S. by President Donald Trump.