Decision No. 647-A-1998

December 31, 1998

December 31, 1998

APPLICATION by Billy Bishop Flying Club pursuant to section 61 of the Canada Transportation Act, S.C., 1996, c. 10, for a licence to operate a domestic service, small aircraft.

File No. M4210/B253-1

Docket No. 981122

Billy Bishop Flying Club (hereinafter the applicant) has applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency (hereinafter the Agency) for a licence to operate the service set out in the title. The application was received on December 18, 1998.

The Agency has reviewed the application and is satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements of paragraph 61(a) of the Canada Transportation Act (hereinafter the CTA).

In order for a licence to be issued, the Agency must also be satisfied, as provided for in paragraph 61(b) of the CTA, that the applicant has not contravened section 59 of the CTA to the effect that no person has sold, caused to be sold or publicly offered for sale in Canada a domestic service within the preceding twelve months unless the person held a licence in respect of that service.

By letter dated December 17, 1998, the applicant advises that it purchased Vachon Aviation Academy Inc. (hereinafter Vachon), a licensed carrier, in January 1997. The applicant then obtained insurance in its own name and was advised by its insurer that the certificate of insurance would be forwarded to the Agency. It then commenced operations under Vachon's operating certificate as "everything seemed to be in place" at that time.

The applicant also states that in early to mid 1997, it received a copy of the Agency's order cancelling Vachon's licence but was not aware that it was required to take any action as Vachon was no longer in business. In December of 1997, the applicant's insurance was renewed and a copy of the certificate of insurance was sent to the Agency. In December of 1998, the applicant's insurance was renewed once again and a copy of the certificate of insurance was forwarded to the Agency. By letter dated December 8, 1998, Agency staff advised the applicant that it had received a copy of the applicant's certificate of insurance but that the applicant was not a licensed carrier and had not applied to the Agency for a licence at that time.

Upon receipt of Agency staff's December 8, 1998 letter, the applicant immediately contacted the Agency and asked for direction. It also submitted an application for a licence and filed an undertaking that it would not sell, offer for sale or cause to be sold or publicly offered for sale in Canada transportation in respect of the applied for air service without holding the required licence.

The Agency is of the view that the explanation provided by the applicant indicates that it has contravened section 59 of the CTA and that, in addition, it has operated a domestic service without holding a licence issued by the Agency. Therefore, it also contravened paragraph 57(a) of the CTA which states that no person shall operate an air service unless, in respect of that service, the person holds a licence.

The Agency has considered the two issues in light of the applicant's explanation. The Agency notes that the applicant ceased violating paragraph 57(a) and section 59 of the CTA as soon as it was notified of the situation by Agency staff. Further, the Agency notes that the applicant, at all times while operating, held a valid Canadian aviation document and had the prescribed liability insurance coverage as required by subparagraphs 61(a)(ii) and (iii) of the CTA. In addition, there is no evidence to indicate that the public was jeopardized by the actions of the applicant.

In light of the foregoing, pursuant to subsection 79(1) of the CTA, the Agency will not refuse to issue a licence to the applicant even though there has been a contravention of section 59 of the CTA. However, the applicant should be aware that the Agency considers contraventions of provisions of the CTA or the Air Transportation Regulations, SOR/88-58, as amended, to be serious and will take appropriate punitive action should any such contraventions occur in the future.

Accordingly, a licence to operate the following service will be issued to Billy Bishop Flying Club.

domestic service, small aircraft

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