The Montreal Convention of 1999 (“MC99”) establishes liability limits for commercial aircraft operators for damages in relation to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo. Article 17 provides that the carrier is liable for the death or bodily injury of a passenger involving an accident which occurs on board the aircraft or in the course of embarking or disembarking. MC99 also provides that the operator may be liable for damage or loss to baggage or cargo and for delay. Articles 21 and 22 of MC99 set out limits to the amount of this liability. These limits are expressed in Special Drawing Rights (“SDRs”), an international “currency” established by the International Monetary Fund. The value of a SDR is calculated …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
In a past post, we reported on the case of Mr. Nicholas Gudzinski, who was killed on August 19, 2006, when he lost control of his aircraft after making a slow-speed pass at a low altitude. Gudzinski had earned his Canadian private pilot’s license in 1993, but his most recent medical certificate had expired on June 1, 2005.
Gudzinski’s estate submitted an insurance claim for damage to the aircraft as a result of the crash. The aviation insurer denied the claim, on the basis that the policy only provided coverage to an “approved pilot … who has the required license.”
The estate launched a lawsuit and the matter came before a Chambers Master of the Alberta Court of Queen’s …Keep reading
In a recent ruling, the Alberta Court of the Queen’s Bench corrected an earlier decision which found that a pilot’s estate was entitled to insurance coverage for loss of an aircraft, despite the fact that the pilot’s medical certificate had expired.
Nicholas Gudzinski took out an insurance policy (the “policy”) on his Cessna 177B Cardinal. The policy listed Gudzinski as an approved pilot and provided coverage:
“only if your aircraft is flown by an approved pilot … who has the required license or endorsements to fly your aircraft.”
On August 19, 2006, Mr. Gudzinski was killed when he lost control of the aircraft after making a slow-speed pass at a low altitude. Gudzinski was issued a Canadian private pilot’s …Keep reading
The Minister of Transport recently announced two new aviation security measures intended to address an immediate threat to aviation security. The Passenger Identification and Behaviour Observation Interim Order came into effect on January 26, 2011.
Passengers are not to be admitted to a sterile area beyond a screening checkpoint unless they have undergone identity screening. In the same interim order, the Minister has implemented a pilot project at YVR where the behaviour of passengers is monitored.
Here’s Looking at You
Previously, passengers were only required to show their boarding passes at security. Now the screening process will require production of acceptable identification, observation of the passengers’ entire faces to determine if they are 18 years or older and, for those …Keep reading
In a previous post, we wrote about a January 6, 2010 decision of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) on a complaint by two passengers who claimed to have experienced difficulties relating to peanut and nut allergies when travelling with Air Canada. Although the passengers were found to be persons with a disability, the CTA found that they did not encounter obstacles to their mobility and declined to ban the service of nuts and nut products on aircraft. However, the CTA did find that an appropriate accommodation was to separate the passengers by seating them in an “exclusion or buffer zone”.
What was not resolved in the decision was the length of time which would constitute reasonable advance notification by …Keep reading
recent series of decisions that may broaden the scope of liability of air carriers, the CTA confirmed that air carriers are liable for loss or damage to baggage, unless the damage was caused by an inherent defect, quality or vice of the baggage.
WestJet relied on its “Baggage Information” sheet …Keep reading
The Manitoba Court of Appeal has overturned the conviction of a pilot for criminal negligence causing death and bodily harm for a crash landing in downtown Winnipeg, but has upheld a conviction of dangerous operation of an aircraft. In the circumstances, the court did not consider the pilot’s conduct blameworthy enough to constitute criminal negligence.
On June 11, 2002, Mark Tayfel was flying a Navajo Chieftain for Keystone Air Service on charter flights to and from a fly-in fishing camp northeast of Winnipeg.
As pilot in command, Mr. Tayfel was responsible for ensuring that there was enough fuel on board. Mr. Tayfel filed an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) …Keep reading