Transport Canada amends air carriage act

by Canadian Shipper

Transport Minister David Collenette has introduced, in the Senate, amendments to the Carriage by Air Act, in an attempt to modernize Canada’s rules governing the carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo during international air transport.

The proposed amendments will allow Canada to ratify the Montreal Convention – an international agreement that establishes a new liability regime for international air transportation and streamlines documentation procedures for air cargo by encouraging the use of automated information systems.

“These amendments will greatly benefit Canadian passengers and air carriers by establishing clearer rules for air carrier liability and facilitating international trade by promoting the use of information technology for air cargo during international flight,” said Collenette.

The Montreal Convention was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1999 and modernized the Warsaw Convention of 1929. It governs the liability of a carrier in the event of the death or injury of a passenger, loss of baggage or cargo or delay during international air transport.

The Montreal Convention preserves many aspects of the Warsaw Convention but features a new two-tier system of determining carrier liability for the death or injury of passengers in the event of an accident.

“The two-tier system will allow for more expeditious and less-costly resolution of legal actions should an accident occur,” added Mr. Collenette.

Under the convention, carriers are authorized to simplify and modernize documents such as electronic tickets for passengers and waybills for cargo. These proposed amendments were finalized earlier this summer.

Transport Canada says it will also be purchasing advanced explosives detection systems as an added aviation security measure for use initially at priority Canadian airports.

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