Canada announces new air passenger protection regulations

Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, has announced that Canadians will begin to benefit from new air passenger protection regulations starting on July 15, 2019. The Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA’s) final regulations are available now on its website (found here).

Passengers walk through Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The government says its new regulations will provide “clear, consistent, transparent and fair” guidance on passenger rights. HIAA Photo
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The Transportation Modernization Act, which received royal assent in May 2018, mandated the CTA to develop regulations for air travellers that would be clear, consistent, transparent and fair.

After months of public and stakeholder consultations, Canadians will soon be covered by robust new regulations that apply to all air carriers flying to, from and within Canada. These new regulations will require air carriers to proactively offer standards of treatment. Additionally, in some cases, carriers will be required to issue compensation to passengers within strict timelines. Passengers will not need to first complain to the CTA; instead, recourse is first dealt directly with the airline. Air carriers will be required to follow these regulations and could face fines of up to $25,000 per incident of non-compliance.

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Following input received on the draft regulations, a phased-in approach will ensure air carriers have time to adjust to the new regulations. Requirements related to communication, tarmac delays, denied boarding, lost and damaged luggage, and the transportation of musical instruments will come into force on July 15, 2019.

The more complex requirements related to flight delays and cancellations will come into force on Dec. 15, 2019. The new regulations also take into account the realities of small and northern air carriers, as well as ultra-low cost carriers, with requirements adjusted accordingly.

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