Proposed Air Passenger Protection Regulations to be published in Part I of the Canada Gazette

News release

December 17, 2018 – Gatineau, QC – Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) today announced that proposed Air Passenger Protection Regulations will be published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on December 22, 2018 for public review and comment. The regulations are being made by the CTA under the Canada Transportation Act, as amended by the Transportation Modernization Act on May 23, 2018.

The CTA consulted broadly for three months with the travelling public, consumer rights groups, the airline industry, and other interested parties through a variety of channels, including public sessions across the country, on-line questionnaires, surveys of passengers in airports, face-to-face meetings with key experts and stakeholders, and the receipt of written submissions and comments. The CTA considered all input received as it developed the draft regulations that will be published on December 22.

Once in force, the regulations will establish airlines' minimum obligations toward passengers – including standards of treatment and in some circumstances, minimum compensation – for flights to, from and within Canada. Highlights of the proposed regulations include:

  • A requirement that airlines communicate in a simple, clear way with passengers regarding their rights and recourses, and provide the reasons for flight delays and cancellations;


  • The obligation for airlines to provide passengers with food, drink, and accommodation when their flights are delayed;


  • Compensation of up to $1,000 for flight delays and cancellations within an airline's control that are not safety-related;


  • Compensation of up to $2,400 if a passenger is denied boarding because an airline has over-booked the flight or because of other actions within an airline's control;


  • Rebooking and refund entitlements when flights are delayed, including, in some cases, the obligation for an airline to use a competing airline to get passengers to their destination;


  • A requirement that passengers be allowed to leave the airplane, when it's safe to do so, if a tarmac delay lasts for over three hours and there's no prospect of an imminent take-off;


  • A requirement that airlines facilitate the seating of children under 14 years in close proximity to an accompanying adult, at no extra charge;


  • Compensation for lost or damaged baggage, including a refund of any baggage fees;


  • Clarity on the policies that airlines must establish regarding the transportation of musical instruments; and


  • Administrative monetary penalties of up to $25,000 for airlines' non-compliance with their obligations under these regulations.

How to Comment

The complete text of the regulations will be available on December 22 in Part I of the Canada Gazette. Comments can be submitted to consultations@otc-cta.gc.ca until February 20, 2019.

For more information on the proposed passenger regulations and how they would ensure clarity, consistency, fairness, and transparency, refer to the CTA’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations Web page and the backgrounder.

Quote

“We know how much interest there is among Canadians in air travel issues. During our May-August consultation process, we had approximately 31,000 visits to our consultation website, met with hundreds of people from across the country, and received thousands of submissions, comments, and completed questionnaires and surveys. All this input has shaped the proposed Air Passenger Protection Regulations.  We're committed to finalizing a set of minimum airline obligations that are clear, fair, and balanced as soon as possible – and we look forward to getting a last round of feedback from Canadians over the next two months."

Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency

Background

In May 2018, the Transportation Modernization Act amended the Canada Transportation Act to require the CTA to make regulations defining airline obligations toward passengers. The proposed regulations are being made in line with the amended Act and reflect extensive consultations.

At the same time, the CTA will also be publishing its proposed regulatory amendments pertaining to the Air Transportation Regulations (ATR) in Part I of the Canada Gazette. Canadians will have until February 20, 2019 to comment on the proposed amendments.

Next Steps

The CTA will review all comments received following the pre-publication of the proposed regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette and may propose adjustments based on this feedback. Once approved, the final regulations will be published in Part II of the Canada Gazette. The regulations are expected to come into force in summer 2019.

About the Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA has three core mandates: helping to keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and providing consumer protection for air passengers. To help advance these mandates, the CTA makes and enforces ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and level the playing field among competitors, resolves disputes using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication, and ensures that transportation providers and users are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how the CTA can help them.

Contacts

Canadian Transportation Agency

Media Relations

media@otc-cta.gc.ca

Tel.: 819-934-3448

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