Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

Del Horn has sent us a copy of the certificate he received as a result of the snowstorm in 1971 which disrupted the airline operations.

This prompted us to extract this article from the "Between Ourselves" magazine issued April 1971.

tmb big storm certificateEmployees ride out storm.

Montreal had a snowstorm during March 1971 - and that's the truth!

This latest in a seemingly endless series of swipes by ol' man winter was hailed as the Great Blizzard of '71. Within 24 hours, the largest recorded snowfall was dumped onto the city, whipped into 12-foot drifts by 40-60 mph winds.

Transportation simply stopped. Employees were stranded, many of them at home and many at shops and offices. Airport and Dorval base employees spent at least one night in grounded aircraft, including the recently arrived first 747.

Meanwhile, schools, banks, stores and government offices closed for two days. To the greatest degree possible, Air Canada was, however, "open for business". What then about those employees who lost some time or all on those two days?

Not a worry; the company waived its general policy regarding pay for employees who do not get to work because of storms. "In the case of this storm," said Vice President - Personnel, Dave Tennant, "it is considered that the majority of employees could not report for duty, it has been decided that all will be paid whether or not they reported for duty."

The time period concerned takes in five shifts beginning with the start of the day shift on Thursday, March 4, to the end of the afternoon shift of Friday March 5.

Pay for these five shifts has been authorized even though an employee may not have reported for duty. If employees unable to get home after their shifts were required for further work, normal overtime rates applied.

Those employees involved probably received a certificate to commemorate the event. The official recorded snow fall at Montreal International Airport (YUL) was 147.7 inches.

(Note: If any employee/retiree wishes to share any experience during this storm – feel free to send it to us – eds)