Michael Dery

Transport Canada Proposes New Regulations for Offshore Flights

Image courtesy of num_skyman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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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Lasers and Aircraft Safety

Airbus A380

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.…

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Supreme Court of Canada Grants Leave in Montreal Convention/Language Rights Case

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.…

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Privacy at the Airport: Canadian Government Updates Airport Body Scanners

Stick man

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 …

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14th Annual Aviation Conference

Aviation Conference

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.…

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Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling in Cirrus Training Case

Pilot2

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. …

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New Regulations on Marking and Lighting Obstacles to Air Navigation

Tower

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; 
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13th Annual Aviation Conference

Aviation Conference

The aviation partners of Paterson, MacDougall LLP and Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP are pleased to announce that the 13th Annual Aviation Conference will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre.

The 13th 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. Speakers at this year’s conference will canvass such issues as the Canadian …

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Federal Court of Appeal Suspends Order Requiring Compliance with Official Languages Act

Aviation - photo

On December 12, 2011, Chief Justice Blais of the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada (“FCA”) granted a suspension (a “stay”) of a rare structural injunctive order, pending an appeal commenced by Air Canada (click here for decision).

The Plaintiffs, Michel and Lynda Thibodeau, had initially logged eight complaints with the Commission of Official Languages concerning the lack of bilingual services on eight different Air Canada flights.  Due to its former Crown Corporation status, and unlike other Canadian airline carriers, Air Canada is required to comply with the Official Languages Act (the “Act”).

At trial, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that the airline failed to comply with the Act’s requirement for the provision of bilingual services on four separate occasions,

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Uncle Sam is Watching (Part 2)

Uncle Sam

In a previous post, we discussed amendments to the Aeronautics Act which allowed Canadian airlines to provide passenger information to the United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) for international flights that not only land in, but also overfly the United States.  The specifics of the information to be provided was to be set out in future regulatory amendments.  The new amendments came into effect on September 30, 2011.

Under the U.S. Secure Flight program, air carriers are required to share certain passenger information for flights travelling over continental U.S. airspace to a third country.  The information is to be provided to the DHS approximately 72 hours before departure.  In situations where the reservation was created within 72 hours of departure, the information must be submitted …

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