Yearly Archives: 2010

Cockpit Voice Recording Decision Confirmed


In a previous post, we reported the decision of Justice Strathy of the Ontario Superior Court requiring production by the TSB of the cockpit voice recording taken from the Air France A340 which crashed at Toronto Airport on August 2, 2005.

That decision was appealed by the TSB to the Court of Appeal for Ontario which recently dismissed the appeal and confirmed the decision of Justice Strathy.  Click here for the Court’s ruling.

In its appeal, the TSB argued that the motion judge had failed to apply the proper legal test set out in Section 28(6) of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act (the “Act”) for determining whether production of the CVR should be ordered.  …

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B.C. Float Plane Safety Association

On November 29, 2009, a Seair Beaver aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Lyall Harbour at Saturna Island off the B.C. coast and sank trapping six passengers.  Since then, Transport Canada has been pressed by the Transportation Safety Board and by extraordinary media coverage to address safety issues in the B.C. commercial float plane industry.

Reluctant to introduce new regulations, Transport Canada organized a two-day workshop of commercial float plane operators.

Those meetings concluded on Thursday, October 7, 2010, with an agreement among the participants to establish a commercial float plane operators safety association.

Issues for discussion will be the use of life-preservers by pilots and passengers and the installation of safety features including door latches, pop-out windows and exit …

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The Aviators

While not directly aviation law related, we at the AHBL Air Law Blog feel that readers would be interested to know about a new aviation television show called The Aviators.

The Aviators is a new Canadian produced magazine style show which looks at all things aviation. Topics to be examined in the first season include: The EAA’s Airventure in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin; The Air Traffic Control Tower; The Airbus A380; Can a non-pilot land an airliner?; Women in Aviation; as well as specific aviation company and pilot profiles including Air North and airshow pilot Julie Clark.

In British Columbia, The Aviators will be broadcast on CHEK TV on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 p.m. starting September 22.…

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Bond, Training Bond

For the vast majority of airlines and air operators in Canada, pilots are required to complete aircraft type specific training in order to be qualified to operate that aircraft.  This training can be an expensive proposition, often requiring the pilot to attend hours of ground school and simulator training.  If the pilot then finds other employment, the airline is forced to find another pilot and pay additional training costs.

To remedy this, many airlines have instituted a ‘training bond’.  A training bond is a contract between the employee pilot and the employer air operator indicating that the pilot will have his or her training paid for (and his or her accommodations paid for during training), but only if he or …

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Airspace Restrictions Announced For Esquimalt Harbour, BC

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard have reportedly boarded the cargo ship MV Sun Sea this afternoon just off the coast of Port Alberni (on the north coast of Vancouver Island).  The ship, allegedly operated by a Tamil terrorist group, is reportedly transporting 490 individuals who are claiming refugee status.

Transport Canada announced airspace restrictions today that will be in effect while the MV Sun Sea vessel travels in Canadian waters.   The restrictions will be in effect during the vessel’s passage to Esquimalt, as well as while it is in the port at Esquimalt.  Transport Canada will restrict air traffic immediately above Esquimalt Harbour up to 2,000 feet. It is expected that this restriction will be in effect for …

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Legal Forum Selection: Back to Arizona

In a previous post, we wrote about an Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision regarding a clause in a contract that required all disputes to be decided according to Arizona law and resolved by the courts of Arizona.  The judge decided not to enforce the “jurisdiction and choice of law” clause, and ruled that the litigation between Honeywell Inc. and Expedition Helicopters Inc. (“Expedition”) should proceed in Ontario.  Honeywell launched an appeal of the decision and the Ontario Court of Appeal recently overturned the lower court’s ruling.  As a result, the action commenced in Ontario will not proceed and the parties must either settle the dispute or have it resolved in Arizona.

The lower court judge had been swayed …

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Fun in the Sun

After a brief summer hiatus, the Alexander Holburn Aviation Law Blog is back in business!  Stay tuned over the next few days for entries regarding recent court decisions, Canadian Transportation Agency decisions and concerns in Canada regarding airport runway lengths.

We are also very pleased to announce that James Ball has joined our Aviation Practice.  James recently moved to Vancouver to join us after completing his articles with a prominent law firm in Atlantic Canada.  James has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the aviation industry and previously worked as an air ambulance and commercial pilot.  James is also a published author, and will apply his writing talents in future contributions to our blog.…

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Privacy Commissioner Cannot Rule on Claims of Legal Privilege

During an Air Canada Jazz flight from Kamloops to Vancouver, a flight attendant noticed that two passengers were consuming beer which had not been served to them by Air Canada.  Consumption of alcohol on board that has not been served by the air carrier is prohibited by the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

The flight attendant informed the passengers that their conduct was prohibited by the CARs and the two passengers surrendered their beer.  However, a heated discussion ensued between one passenger (Mr. Dankwort) and the flight attendant, during which each threatened to file a complaint.  The flight attendant informed the pilot and on arrival in Vancouver, Mr. Dankwort was met by an Air Canada representative and several RCMP officers.  After …

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“It’s Already Been Brought” – Ontario Court Finds that Action is “Brought” Within the Meaning of Warsaw When Filed

 Does the two-year limitation period stipulated by the Warsaw Convention for bringing an action pertain to the initial filing of the claim, or alternatively, to the filing AND service of the initiating documents on the opposing party?  This was the question before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the recent case of Mosregion Investments Corporation et al. v. Ukraine International Airlines et al. 

The action in question was a lawsuit related to the multi-million dollar litigation which followed the overrun accident of Air France Flight 358 at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson Airport on August 5, 2005.  The plaintiff initiated the action by filing a Statement of Claim with the Ontario Superior Court on August 1, 2007.  However, …

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CTA Ruling: Is a Seafood Allergy a “Disability”?

In the most recent of a series of decisions (see here, here and here) determining whether allergies constitute a disability that must be accommodated by Canadian air carriers, the Canadian Transportation Agency (the “CTA”) released a decision yesterday considering whether Air Canada’s policy of serving seafood and fish on its flights constituted an undue obstacle to a passenger’s mobility (click here for the full text of the decision).

This latest ruling confirms the CTA’s practice of analyzing each allergy complaint on a case-by-case basis and illustrates the difficulties faced by air carriers when trying to decide whether a passenger’s description of an allergy constitutes a disability that must be accommodated.

The passenger claimed that she had a life …

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