In November 2009, an aircraft operated by Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd (“Pel-Air”) flew from Sydney, Australia to Samoa to transport a seriously ill patient and her husband to Melbourne, Australia. The plane was scheduled to land at Norfolk Island (on its way to Melbourne) to refuel. It crashed during that leg of the flight and the doctor and nurse who were onboard the aircraft (Ms. Casey and Dr. Helm) were both seriously injured. They commenced an action against Pel-Air in the Supreme Court of South Wales.
As this case involved an international flight, Ms. Casey and Dr. Helm could only recover damages according to the provisions of the Montreal Convention, an international treaty that exclusively governs such cases. Courts around …
Michel and Lynda Thibodeau (the “Thibodeaus”) launched several complaints before Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages (the “Commissioner”) alleging that Air Canada had contravened its obligations under the Official Languages Act (“OLA”) to provide services in French. They alleged that on two trips they made in 2009, Air Canada had failed to offer services in French at check-in counters, boarding gates and aboard flights on which there was significant demand for services in French, and that it made passenger announcements only in English.
The Commissioner found that all but two of the complaints had merit. The matter then proceeded before the Federal Court of Canada, which awarded $6,000 in damages to each of the Thibodeaus, representing $1,500 per violation. The Federal …
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 …
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 …
A 19-year old man was charged in Calgary this week with assault causing bodily harm and two mischief-related charges under the Criminal Code. He is being accused of pointing a type-3 laser at a Calgary police helicopter pilot three times. For a recent article about the rising frequency of these incidents in Canada, click here. It is alarming and perplexing that these events continue to occur.…
The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will hear an appeal of a case which considered the interaction and potential conflict between the Montreal Convention (a treaty governing international air travel) and Canadian language law rights.
Click here to view a recent article regarding this case. Click here to view the announcement from the Supreme Court of Canada. Click here to view the Federal Court of Canada decision that is being appealed.…
Canada’s Minister of State (Transport) announced yesterday that new software will be deployed on Canada’s full-body scanners that will enhance passenger privacy at airports. The new software produces computer generated “stick figures” rather than an outline of the passenger’s body, enhancing privacy for air travellers. In addition, the scanner does not collect personal information from the passenger it screens nor is the image correlated in any way with the name of the passenger or any other identifying information.
The changes likely arise in response to the decision by the United States to get rid of body scanners that could not be modified to alleviate privacy concerns. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (a public internet research outfit in Washington, DC) claimed …
The aviation partners of Paterson, MacDougall LLP and Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP are pleased to announce that the 14th Annual Aviation Conference will be held on Thursday, January 31, 2013, at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre.
The 14th Annual Aviation Conference continues its tradition of excellence in providing an opportunity for exceptional speakers to come together with attendees from all areas of the aviation industry to examine and discuss topical issues that affect our industry.
The conference will include panel discussions on developments in the areas of aviation law, government initiatives, insurance, commerce and regulation that affect all of us in Canada and internationally. Stay tuned for more details.…
In a previous post, we wrote about a lawsuit arising from the 2003 crash of a Cirrus SR-22 in low visibility near Hill City, Minnesota. In the lawsuit, the next of kin of the pilot and passenger claimed that Cirrus and a university failed to provide the pilot with adequate flight training on the subject aircraft.
The appeal court found that the claim for inadequate training could not succeed as Cirrus did not owe a duty to the pilot to provide training. In addition, the claims were barred by the “educational malpractice doctrine”. The policy behind this doctrine is that courts are considered to be inadequately suited to determine the standard or quality of education provided by an institution. …
Marking and lighting towers and other tall objects that could be obstacles to air navigation is a critical element of aviation safety. Until recently, the Canadian Aviation Regulations contained few clear requirements regarding obstacles to air navigation. On December 31, 2011, new regulations came into effect that expand and clarify these requirements.
The new provisions were in the works for approximately 10 years and were largely driven by a working group composed of representatives from the government, aviation stake-holders, and non-aviation stakeholders (such as energy producers, like Manitoba Hydro) all seeking greater clarity and more concrete requirements under the Regulations.
The new provisions include:
- a clear definition of an “obstacle to air navigation”, which includes specific heights and distances from aerodromes;