Yearly Archives: 2012

Montreal Convention Delay Claims Must be Reasonable

A Halifax passenger booked with Air Canada to fly from Halifax to Beirut, via Montreal.  The flight segment from Montreal to Paris was cancelled due to a maintenance issue.  Air Canada scheduled a replacement flight which left Montreal later than the originally scheduled departure time.  To compensate for the delay, Air Canada offered the passenger an upgrade on the Montreal/Paris segment of the rescheduled flight as well as $1,300 in flight vouchers.

The passenger rejected Air Canada’s offers and elected instead to book flights with another carrier which arrived in Lebanon sooner than the rescheduled Air Canada flight.  In order to secure those flights, the passenger had to travel business class.  The passenger sued Air Canada for the full cost …

Keep reading

British Columbia Aviation Council 2012 Conference and Silver Wings Banquet

Congratulations to the British Columbia Aviation Council for another successful Silver Wings Awards Banquet!  This year, the Banquet took place at YVR’s South Terminal and was hosted by Jaeger Mah, the winner of the Vancouver International Airport’s Live@YVR contest.

As always, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Council’s annual industry awards and aviation student scholarships.  Industry award recipients included West Coast Helicopters, the Vancouver Airport Authority, Canadian Rockies International Airport (Cranbrook) and Conair Aviation.  The winner of the Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award was Lynne Denison-Foster for her many years as a leading aviation educator at BCIT.

This year’s Ernie Alexander Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Sean Samuel (pictured above) of BCIT’s Airline & Flight Operations Program.  Sean …

Keep reading

Foreign Carriers Must Comply With Canadian Privacy Laws

A Canadian resident sought information from KLM about its policies and practices relating to the management of his personal information as a passenger.

The airline was slow to respond and ultimately provided a minimal response.

The passenger complained to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada that KLM was in breach of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”).

Notwithstanding KLM’s foreign incorporation, the Commission took jurisdiction over the complaint on the grounds that there was a real and substantial connection between the complaint, the parties and Canada.  In particular, the complainant was a Canadian resident; KLM offers services within Canada; and the complainant originally booked his flight from Toronto.

In its defence, KLM asserted that its …

Keep reading

14th Annual 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.…

Keep reading

Airline Customer Service Issue Creates Liability Under the Montreal Convention

Mr. Gontcharov travelled by air from the Dominican Republic to his home in Toronto.  During the flight, he complained to the flight attendant that he was cold and requested that she either turn the heat up or provide him with a blanket.  After a second request, the flight attendant told him the blanket would cost ten dollars.  This discussion escalated into a confrontation so that when the aircraft landed, Mr. Gontcharov was escorted off the aircraft by two local police officers.

Mr. Gontcharov sued the airline alleging that he had come down with severe bronchitis following the flight and had suffered psychological injuries as a result of his “wrongful arrest”.

Claims arising in the course of international carriage, are governed …

Keep reading

External Inspection of an Aircraft: No Violation of Charter Rights

The pilot of Rockwell Aviation SR2 Thrush Commander crop duster aircraft was charged under s. 7.3(1)(e) of the Aeronautics Act with willfully operating an aircraft that had been detained by Transport Canada.

During the course of the trial, the pilot claimed that his right to be secure from unreasonable search under s.8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated when the Transport Canada Inspectors inspected the aircraft and ultimately placed a notice of detention attached to the controls of the aircraft.

The pilot claimed that any actions taken by the Transport Canada Inspectors regarding the aircraft were done without a search warrant and without the pilot’s permission.

The Transport Canada Aviation Enforcement Inspector indicated that he …

Keep reading

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling in Cirrus Training Case

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. …

Keep reading

The Runway End Safety Area Debate

A runway end safety area (RESA) is a clear graded area at the end of a runway intended to reduce the risk of damage to an aircraft which overruns the runway.  ICAO Annex 14, Aerodrome Design and Operations, prescribes a standard international RESA of 90 metres for runways coded 3 or 4 from the end of the runway strip and recommends a RESA of 240 metres where practicable.

When the standard RESA was introduced in Annex 14, Canada determined that it was impractical to comply with this standard and filed with ICAO a “Difference” stating:

“Canada does not provide runway end safety areas …”

That position reflected Transport Canada’s concern that the geography of many Canadian airports would not …

Keep reading

No Aviation Insurance Coverage for Pilot Without Valid License

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

Pilot Sentenced to 9 Months in Jail for Dangerous Operation of an Aircraft

A young pilot from Saskatchewan has been sentenced to 9 months in jail and has had his licence suspended for two years in connection with an incident that occurred at the Fort Good Hope Airport, NWT, on May 10, 2010.

Parker James Butterfield was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of an aircraft after the wing of the Cessna 207 that he was flying struck a co-worker, William Bleach.

Bleach was standing by the side of the runway filming while Butterfield performed a low pass.  A wind gust caused the aircraft’s wing to dip and strike Bleach in the head.  Bleach later died from his injuries.

In October 2011, Butterfield pled guilty to the lesser charge of

Keep reading