Failure to give notice when discontinuing or reducing a domestic air service to a community

When does a carrier need to give notice?

A carrier must notify the community if it proposes to:

  1. discontinue a service, resulting in only one or no carriers serving a point;
  2. reduce the frequency of a service to less than one flight per week, resulting in only one or no carriers providing service to that point at least once per week; or
  3. discontinue a year-round, non-stop, scheduled air service between two points in Canada, resulting in significantly reduced seating capacity on that route.

In these situations, the carrier must notify the affected communities at least 120 days before discontinuing or reducing the service. If the carrier has served the point for less than one year, it must give 30 days notice. In addition, the carrier must give elected officials of the affected communities an opportunity to discuss the impact of its proposal.

A carrier may apply to the Agency to have the notice period reduced.

How must the carrier give notice?

The carrier must publish a notice in the largest circulated newspaper serving the community affected by the change in air services.

The air carrier must also send the notice to the Agency, Transport Canada and the provincial minister of transport.

What if a carrier doesn’t give proper notice?

If you believe that a carrier has not properly notified the community as described above, you may contact the Secretariat to file a complaint.

If the Agency finds that the carrier failed to give proper notice, it may order the carrier to reinstate the service for up to 60 days or issue a fine.

The Agency cannot prevent a carrier who has given proper notice from discontinuing its service.

For more detailed information, please consult the Canada Transportation Act, section 64 and 65.

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