Regulating the industry

The Agency is responsible for developing and administering regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to a wide range of matters involving federally-regulated air, rail and marine modes of transportation.

The national transportation policy permits the market to largely self-regulate. However, it also acknowledges that regulation may be required to meet public objectives or in cases where parties are not served by effective competition.

Within the specific powers assigned to it by legislation, the Agency participates in the economic regulation of modes of transportation under federal jurisdiction, including:

  • licensing air carriers and acting as one of Canada's aeronautical authorities;
  • determining whether terms and conditions of air travel are just and reasonable;
  • approving the adequacy of the protection of advance payments made by charter companies contracting with air carriers;
  • setting railway revenue caps for moving western grain;
  • setting financial and costing frameworks for certain federally-regulated railways;
  • issuing certificates of fitness for federally-regulated railways;
  • setting interswitching rates and establishing the net salvage value of railway lines to facilitate their orderly transfer;
  • administering regulations and codes of practice regarding accessibility in air, rail and extra-provincial ferry transportation; and
  • determining if Canadian ships are available and suitable to perform services that a resident of Canada has requested be provided by foreign ships in Canadian waters.

Regulatory regime renewal

Feedback from our stakeholders indicates that they are looking to the Agency to update its regulations to reflect changing environments and stakeholder needs. A modernized regulatory regime – comprising essential regulation, guidelines, codes of practice and their administration – will more effectively align with the current transportation and government policy framework. It will also ultimately improve the transparency of the Agency's decision-making process, reduce the need for unnecessary applications, facilitate the processing of applications, and strengthen compliance.

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