OPERATION of season-long charter programs by U.S. air carriers on behalf of all professional sports teams

December 8, 2009

Context

Effective December 8, 2009, the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) allows charter flights operated by U.S. carriers under season-long contracts with all professional sports teams that include multiple stops in Canada. The revised filing requirements applicable to the operation of charter flights by U.S. carriers on behalf of professional sports teams that were communicated by notice dated September 3, 2009, as amended on September 29, 2009, no longer apply. However, certain monitoring and reporting requirements will be maintained. These measures implement the Direction issued to the Agency by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities on December 7, 2009.

Regulatory requirements

U.S. carriers proposing to operate Transborder Passenger Non-Resaleable Charters (TPNC) and Transborder United States Charters (TUSC) on behalf of all professional sports teams are no longer required to apply for and obtain approval from the Agency prior to the operation of the charters subject to, with respect to season-long contracts that include multiple stops in Canada, the filing of a written certification referred to in this Notice. They now need to meet the regulatory requirements normally applicable to such operations as provided for in Division III (Transborder Passenger Non-Resaleable Charters) and Division V (Charters Originating in the United States) of Part IV of the Air Transportation Regulations, SOR/88-58, as amended (ATR).

Monitoring and reporting measures

Prior to operating charter flights, pursuant to a season-long contract that includes multiple stops in Canada, the U.S. carrier must provide to the Agency a document signed by an officer of the carrier, which certifies to the satisfaction of the Agency that the carrier will implement the following monitoring and reporting measures in respect of those flights, which measures shall be equivalent, in terms of comity and reciprocity, to the monitoring and reporting conditions imposed by the United States Department of Transportation on Canadian carriers for such operations:

  • To designate a compliance officer whose function is to ensure compliance with all applicable Canadian cabotage regulations and who will monitor all season-long charter flights for professional sports organizations (Organization) to ensure that the air carrier does not provide local transportation between points in Canada;
  • At the beginning of each season covered by an Organization charter contract, the carrier will provide the Agency with a copy of each Organization charter contract it has entered into, the date upon which the flights under the contract commence, the end date for the season covered by the contract and a roster of each Organization with which the air carrier has entered into the charter contract;
  • To ensure that the Organization roster consists only of individuals either directly employed by the Organization or under contract to the Organization during the course of the season;
  • To notify the Agency in writing of any changes to the roster within seven calendar days of being notified of such changes by the Organization or becoming aware of such changes;
  • To notify the Agency, through the compliance officer, on the last day of each month, of any person carried on an Organization charter flight who has not traveled on an international segment, into or out of Canada, with an explanation as to why that person has not traveled internationally and provide a plan to have that person transported internationally on a charter flight conducted by the carrier during the following two-month period;
  • To ensure that the air carrier's manifests set forth the requirement of not providing local transportation between points in Canada and the requirement that each person carried between points in Canada must be carried on at least one cross-border flight pursuant to the Organization charter contract;
  • To ensure that the air carrier's flight service director for each Organization charter flight checks each person boarding the charter flight against the manifest and the Organization roster and forbids carriage to anyone not on the roster of the Organization;
  • To provide the Agency, within 30 days after the final flight of the season under each contract, a letter from an appropriate senior officer of the air carrier, certifying that either a) no persons were transported between two Canadian points who were not also transported into or out of Canada on the charter flights in question or b) certain specified persons were so transported in which case the certification shall be accompanied with a list of the names of those persons and the points between which they were transported and the dates of the transportation;
  • To advise the Agency of any existing compliance measures that it has in place to ensure no local transportation between points in Canada is provided and that it will continue to implement such measures during the period covered by the carrier's Organization charter flights; and
  • To provide a copy of this certification to the Organization with which the air carrier contracts.

Once this certification is made to the satisfaction of the Agency, the Agency will, by order, pursuant to subsection 74(1) of the Canada Transportation Act, S.C., 1996, c. 10, as amended make the U.S. carrier's non-scheduled international licence subject to the additional condition that the carrier shall comply with the monitoring and reporting measures as set out in the certification.

Upon receipt of an Agency order, a carrier will be allowed to operate charter flights on behalf of professional sports teams pursuant to season-long contracts that include multiple stops in Canada subject to meeting the normal regulatory requirements and the additional condition described above.

Flights approved pursuant to previous notices

It should be noted that the filing requirements set out in Divisions III and V of the ATR do not apply to charter flights that were approved pursuant to the notice dated September 3, 2009 as amended on September 29, 2009.

Nevertheless, the "Monitoring and reporting measures" set out in this Notice apply to U.S. carriers who were granted such approvals in respect of season-long contracts that include multiple stops in Canada. The certification shall be filed with the Agency within 10 days of this notice.

Organization roster

In order to allow the Agency to properly implement the Ministerial Direction, the Agency requests that U.S. carriers include the names and title/role of the individuals listed on the Organization roster.

Enforcement

The Agency may take enforcement action, if any, as it considers appropriate, in the event of non-compliance by a carrier with any of the regulatory requirements and conditions resulting from the Ministerial Direction.

Next Steps

These measures may be modified, subject to a further direction to the Agency from the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, in particular in response to any arrangement agreed to between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada on the operation of charter air services or by the outcome of any dispute settlement procedure undertaken pursuant to the Air Transport Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America signed on March 12, 2007.

If you have any questions, you may contact the Manager of the Air Licensing and Charters Division, Industry Regulation and Determinations Branch.

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