New Trial – New Decision: Crash in a Deliberate Single Engine Take-Off is an “Accident”

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A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court considered the definition of an “accident” within the meaning of an aviation policy of insurance, with important consequences for insurers and pilots.  Click here for our blog post on this issue, and click here to access a copy of the court decision.…

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Amendments to Transport Canada’s Oversight of Private Operators

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Background

Following the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s report regarding a 2007 accident involving a private operator aircraft, the Minister of Transport determined that the certification and oversight of private operators were core responsibilities of Transport Canada that should not be held by the private sector.  Accordingly, on May 30, 2014, the Minister announced new regulatory amendments for the oversight of private air operators. These amendments are all-encompassing, affecting requirements regarding:  registration; flight operations; personnel requirements and training programs; emergency equipment; maintenance; cabin safety; and safety management systems.

These amendments have been long anticipated, and since April 1, 2011, Transport Canada has certified private operators through the means of interim orders and the issuance of Temporary Private Operator Certificates (TPOC).…

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Overhaul of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program affects Foreign Pilots

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On June 20, 2014, the Government of Canada announced sweeping changes to its Temporary Foreign Worker Program, many of which were effective immediately.  Pilots are one of very few specific occupations that were singled out in the changes.

Under the former system, employers were required to obtain authority to hire a foreign worker through a “Labour Market Opinion”.  Employers must now apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is a more comprehensive and rigorous process.  The LMIA must include information about the number of Canadians who have applied for the available job, the number of Canadians interviewed, and an explanation of why those Canadians were not hired.  A new job matching service has been introduced in an effort …

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Supreme Court to Hear Appeal regarding Alleged Discrimination by Bombardier against Pakistani-Canadian Pilot

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In May 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear an appeal from the decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal in Bombardier Inc. v. Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, 2013 QCCA 1650.  In its decision, the Court of Appeal had overturned a decision of the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal finding that Bombardier discriminated against a pilot of Pakistani descent in refusing him entry into a pilot training program.

In 2003, Javed Latif, a Canadian pilot with 25 years’ experience and in possession of both Canadian and US pilot’s licenses, applied to a pilot training program at the Bombardier Aerospace Training Center in Dallas, Texas.  As a non-US citizen, he was …

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UK Accident Investigation Reports Admissible in Legal Proceedings — What about Canada?

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An influential decision arising out of the English Court of Appeal has affirmed an earlier ruling in Rogers v. Hoyle (click here),which held that reports produced by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (“AAIB”), of the UK’s Department for Transport, are admissible as evidence in civil proceedings.

The case involved a wrongful death claim arising out of an aircraft accident. The claimants alleged negligence on the part of the defendant pilot and sought to rely on the AAIB report for both the factual and expert evidence it contained. In response, the defendant sought a declaration that the report was inadmissible.

The main question for consideration in the case was whether the AAIB report had to be excluded as a

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When is an aerodrome not an aerodrome? When it’s really a boathouse.

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On January 9, 2014, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Mr. Bak, a former real estate developer (click here for decision).

The appeal arose from the owner Bak’s desire to build a boathouse to complement his cottage on Lake Rosseau’s environmentally protected shoreline.  Bak’s application to the Township was rejected.  Initially, Bak appealed that decision through the municipal process.  He later withdrew the appeal, preferring his chances at reclassifying the structure as a federally regulated aerodome, and therefore exempt from the municipal bylaws.  He registered the structure as an aerodrome and continued with its construction, notwithstanding a stop work order from the municipality.

Subsequently, the municipality (Seguin) applied to the Court for an order requiring Bak to …

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What is “Air Service”?

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The Canadian Transportation Agency recently published a decision which sets out how it determines what constitutes an “air service” and what criteria will be applied in making that determination. The Agency is mandated to administer, interpret and enforce the Canada Transportation Act (“CTA”). The CTA provides for various licensing requirements in respect of air transportation and those requirements apply to any person who operates or intends to operate an “air service” in Canada. Therefore, the answer to the question of whether one is operating an air service may have significant consequences on the obligations to comply with regulatory requirements. 

“Air Service” is defined in the CTA as “a service provided by means of an aircraft, that is publicly available for …

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Do protesters have the right to demonstrate in Canadian airports?

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In October 2011, eight members of an anti-abortion organization engaged in demonstrations in the Calgary Airport terminal building. The protesters were carrying signs and distributing pamphlets. After they refused to leave the premises, the Airport Authority called police, who attended and charged the protesters under Alberta trespass legislation. The Provincial Court of Alberta recently released its judgment in this case (R. v. Booyink), and addressed the issue of whether the Calgary Airport Authority is subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the context of protests on airport premises.

 

In 1991, the Supreme Court of Canada decided a similar case, which involved individuals distributing political pamphlets at the Dorval Airport (Committee for the Commonwealth

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Transport Canada Proposes New Regulations for Offshore Flights

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On March 12, 2009, a Sikorsky S-92A helicopter destined for the Hibernia Oilfield crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Seventeen passengers suffered fatal injuries in the crash and the lone survivor suffered serious injuries.  In response to safety recommendations from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, regulatory amendments have been proposed by Transport Canada.  The proposed amendments are meant to reduce the risks associated with flights in support of offshore oil, gas or mineral exploration.

The proposed amendments contain the following new requirements:

(a)        no offshore operations flights are to be conducted if the sea state reported at the destination exceeds the sea state for which the helicopter is certified to conduct a ditching in

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Conflicting Court Decisions on Airline Baggage Loss Claims

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In late 2012, the European Court of Justice released its ruling in the matter of Sanchez v. Iberia Airlines, in which it had been asked to decide whether an airline was liable for loss of baggage to multiple passengers who had packed items in the same bag, or whether compensation was only available to the passenger who had checked the bag.

The Court was called on to interpret Article 22(2) of the Montreal Convention, which is an international convention that governs the liability of air carriers engaged in international carriage. This Article states that in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay of baggage, an airline’s liability will be limited to 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (approximately $1,750 CAD) …

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