Yearly Archives: 2018

Flying “High”: Current Preventative Measures in Advance of Marijuana Legalization in Canada

The issue of pilot intoxication has received a fair amount of media attention in Canada over the past few years. We have seen jail sentences imposed on airline pilots, a heavily publicized incident involving an intoxicated Sunwing pilot, and the fatal Carson Air Accident in 2015 (where investigators found significant levels of alcohol in the pilot’s bloodstream).  With the impending legalization of marijuana on October 17, 2018, it is a good time to consider the current regulatory framework for drug/alcohol testing in this new context.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

In Canada, there is no regulation that requires drug or alcohol testing for pilots.  In both India and Australia, breathalyzer tests are carried out on flight crews.  In the United States, …

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A new “Passenger Bill of Rights” is en route

The rights of air passengers in Canada are soon to be enhanced.  After several revisions and hours of Parliamentary debate, the Federal government enacted the Transportation Modernization Act on May 23, 2018.  As part of this new statute, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has been given a mandate to develop regulations for airlines’ obligations to air passengers.  The CTA has now opened a consultation process to receive input on the development of these regulations and to establish clear standards of treatment and consistent compensation for air travellers under certain circumstances.

The Transportation Modernization Act amends the Canada Transportation Act to give the CTA authority to make regulations defining the airlines’ minimum obligations to passengers with respect to a broad range …

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Innovation or Complication: The Emerging Regulatory Landscape for Drone Use in 2018

The use of drones recreationally and commercially continues to grow exponentially in Canada. While the commercial use of drones has been governed by rules set out in various regulatory exemptions (or by the requirement to obtain a special flight operations certificate (“SFOC”) from Transport Canada), the recreational use of drones that weigh under 35 kg was previously simply subject to guidelines encouraging users to “fly safely”. More recently, the Minister of Transport issued a series of interim orders respecting these aircraft. The current interim order No. 8 regulates all recreational use of drones weighing between 250 g and 35 kg.

UAS Task Force

In 2017, Transport Canada established the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) Task Force, staffed with members with expertise …

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Delta Air Lines Inc. v. Lukacs: Supreme Court weighs in on Canadian Transportation Agency’s application of civil courts’ tests of standing

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its decision in Delta Air Lines Inc. v. Lukacs, 2018 SCC 2, in which it considered whether the Canadian Transportation Agency (the “Agency”) acted reasonably in dismissing the complaint of Gabor Lukacs against Delta on the basis that he met neither of the tests for standing that have been developed and applied by the civil courts.

Dr. Lukacs, who refers to himself as an “air passenger rights advocate”, filed a complaint with the Agency in which he argued that Delta’s practices in relation to the transportation of obese passengers were discriminatory. Dr. Lukacs is not obese. Rather, his complaint was based on an email sent by Delta to a passenger who …

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Canada Labour Code and Employee Safety: Is a Helicopter Medevac Operator Required to Provide Night Vision Goggles?

In the early hours of May 31, 2013, a Sikorsky S 76A helicopter operated by Ornge Air Ambulance crashed shortly after take-off from Moosonee airport (northern Ontario), resulting in the deaths of the two pilots and two paramedics.  The Crown brought charges against Ornge under the Canada Labour Code for failing to ensure employee safety, by failing to provide its pilots with night vision goggles (“NVGs”).  Ornge denied committing any offence arguing that it had complied with all legal and regulatory requirements and provided for an acceptable level of safety consistent with the standard of care that prevailed in the helicopter aviation industry at the time.  The Ontario Court of Justice recently released its decision R.v. 7506406 Canada Inc. (Ornge)

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