Table of contents
Total rulings by Members
Appointed by the Governor in Council, the Agency's Members are responsible for rendering decisions and orders related to formal complaints or applications, as well as addressing other issues affecting Canada's national transportation system.
As objective and impartial quasi-judicial decision-makers, the Members abide by a Code of Conduct.
Note: Sometimes a single ruling is made that covers multiple cases. As well, some cases may result in multiple types of rulings.
|Final letter decisions||13||14||25||32||25|
*In 2016-2017 the category of Determinations was created to better reflect/capture the Agency's economic regulatory role. In 2017-2018 this category was expanded to include all economic regulatory determinations that involve a single party.
Disputes resolved by the Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency keeps the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly in the interests of all Canadians – those who work and invest in it, the producers, shippers, travellers and businesses who rely on it, and the communities where it operates – and the prosperity and social fabric of the country as a whole. One way the Agency implements this mandate is by helping resolve disputes by using a range of approaches from relatively informal facilitation and mediation to more formal arbitration and adjudication.
Disputes resolved by facilitation
Disputes resolved by mediation
Disputes resolved by adjudication
Disputes resolved by arbitration
Inspections and investigations
The CTA is committed to ensuring effective monitoring and enforcement of industry compliance with legislative and regulatory provisions, which is in the interests of travellers, shippers, and the transportation companies that follow the rules and should not face unfair competition from those who don't. Agency enforcement officers conduct periodic inspections and targeted investigations to verify that service providers comply with the Canada Transportation Act, the Air Transportation Regulations and the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations.
Agency officers also regularly verify that any person or corporation that advertises air fares complies with all-inclusive air price advertising regulations.
|Air carriers - periodic inspections||80||139||167||141||156|
|Passenger terminals - periodic inspections||28||22||27||34||23|
|Verification of air carriers' advertisements||38||16||9||39||102|
Enforcement officers can issue fines (administrative monetary penalties) for contraventions of certain provisions in the following legislation and regulations:
- Canada Transportation Act
- Air Transportation Regulations
- Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations
Enforcement officers consider whether to take action in every case where Members find a contravention of these provisions. Fines can reach $5,000 per offence for individuals and $25,000 for corporations, depending on the type of penalty and contravention. In addition, some specific rail-related violations can reach up to $100,000 per offence.
|Total amount of penalties||$550,750||$116,250||$103,500||$177,750||$495,000|
Providing consumer protection for air passengers
Number and outcome of air travel complaints
The Canadian Transportation Agency can help resolve complaints about air travel within, to and from Canada. The role of the CTA is to make sure that the airline has applied the terms and conditions set out in the passengers contract with the airline – and that both the passenger and the airline have met their end of the bargain. The Agency can also handle more complex cases where a passenger feels that the airline's contract is unclear, unjust, unreasonable or discriminatory. Some common issues the CTA can help with: flight delays, cancellations, missed connections, schedule changes; lost, damaged or delayed baggage; getting bumped due to overbooking.
Note: These statistics only include complaints that were submitted to the Agency – they do not reflect the total number of air travel complaints against air carriers. Many travellers resolve their complaints directly with the carrier.
New complaints and complaints carried over
|Carry-over from previous reporting period||884||269||236||283||137|
Complaints closed by process
|Air Transat Inquiry||89||-||-||-||-|
|Determined to be outside of the Agency's mandate||494||517||26||57||76|
*Starting in 2017-2018, "Other" replaces "Withdrawn" and includes all other case closure types (e.g., withdrawn, declined, dismissed).
Number of complaints in progress at year end (March 31)
|Complaints in progress at year end||1384||884||269||185||331|
Number of complaints resolved (by carrier)
Note: Complaints against more than one air carrier are counted for each carrier involved in the dispute resolution process.
Complaints against an air carrier include complaints that were made against that carrier's subsidiaries and affiliates. For example, Air Canada includes complaints against Jazz Aviation, Sky Regional, Air Georgian, etc.
The "Other" category includes carriers that:
- only have 1-2 complaints against them; and/or
- ceased operations in the previous reporting periods.
In addition, there were 96 complaints in which a carrier was not identified.
Number of complaints against Canadian carriers
Number of complaints against U.S. carriers
Number of complaints against European carriers
Number of complaints against other foreign carriers
|Royal Air Maroc||57||24||11||9||8|
Issues raised in air travel complaints
The Agency is required by the Canada Transportation Act to provide an overview of the all air travel complaints it processes – even if it's not an issue the Agency can help with. These issues are reported separately.
Learn more about the types of complaints the Agency can and cannot handle.
Note: Complaints often involve more than one issue. That's why the total number of issues is greater than the number of complaints.
Issues – all carriers
|Issues outside the Agency's jurisdiction||1036||518||275||91||406|
|Refusal to transport||359||382||114||122||170|
Issues within the Agency's jurisdiction – major Canadian carriers (2017-2018)
|Air Canada||Air Transat||Porter||Sunwing||WestJet||Other|
|Refusal to transport||165||27||9||8||16||6|
Previous statistics on issues raised in complaints – major Canadian air carriers
Issues within the Agency's jurisdiction – major Canadian carriers (2016-2017)
Air Canada Air Transat Porter Sunwing WestJet Other Baggage 465 33 2 19 24 4 Carrier-operated loyalty programs 2 1 1 1 0 0 Denied boarding 85 1 4 0 4 0 Flight disruptions 694 74 22 20 75 17 Refusal to transport 195 15 3 7 12 1 Reservations 69 9 5 5 7 0 Ticketing 228 14 4 1 9 2 Other 0 26 6 5 23 2 Total 1738 173 47 58 154 26
Issues within the Agency's jurisdiction – major Canadian carriers (2015-2016)
Air Canada Air Transat Porter Sunwing WestJet Other Baggage 139 7 0 5 14 9 Carrier-operated loyalty programs 0 0 0 0 0 0 Denied boarding 37 0 0 0 2 3 Flight disruptions 396 9 6 18 36 15 Refusal to transport 68 6 3 6 4 3 Reservations 25 2 2 1 2 0 Ticketing 64 7 1 2 2 1 Other 11 0 0 0 0 0 Total 740 31 12 32 60 31
Issues within the Agency's jurisdiction – major Canadian carriers (2014-2015)
Air Canada Air Transat Porter Sunwing WestJet OtherNote 1 Baggage 138 7 4 7 16 8 Carrier-operated loyalty programs 2 0 0 0 0 0 Denied boarding 27 0 0 0 2 0 Flight disruptions 369 18 14 34 33 18 Refusal to transport 61 12 5 0 4 4 Reservations 38 6 0 1 0 0 Ticketing 54 4 3 4 4 2 Other 5 0 0 0 0 0 Total 694 47 26 46 59 32
Issues within the Agency's jurisdiction – major Canadian carriers (2013-2014)
Air Canada Air Transat Porter Sunwing WestJet Other Baggage 122 6 1 13 16 2 Carrier-operated loyalty programs 2 0 0 0 0 0 Denied boarding 71 0 0 0 0 2 Flight disruptions 344 8 13 35 19 10 Refusal to transport 93 10 0 3 5 2 Reservations 38 2 1 1 3 1 Ticketing 80 6 0 2 1 3 Other 8 0 0 0 0 0 Total 758 32 15 54 44 20
Other statistics by mode of transportation
Air carriers holding Agency licences
The Agency is the aeronautical authority for Canada that issues licences to operate publicly available air services. The Agency issues licences to operate domestic air services to Canadian applicants. It also issues licences to operate scheduled and non-scheduled international services to and from Canada.
Note: the number of licences is the total on March 31 (the end of the fiscal year).
Total number of air carriers Agency licences
Types of licences held by Canadian air carriers (2017-2018)
|Small aircraft||Medium aircraft||Large aircraft||All cargo||Total|
Previous statistics on licences held by Canadian air carriers
Types of licences held by Canadian air carriers (2016-2017)
Small aircraft Medium aircraft Large aircraft All cargo Total Domestic 609 25 13 43 690 Non-scheduled international 256 22 13 29 320 Scheduled international 9 41 152 98 300 Total 874 88 178 170 1310
Types of licences held by Canadian air carriers (2015-2016)
Small aircraft Medium aircraft Large aircraft All cargo Total Domestic 635 25 14 44 718 Non-scheduled international 261 22 14 28 325 Scheduled international 8 28 156 80 272 Total 904 75 184 152 1315
Types of licences held by Canadian air carriers (2014-2015)
Small aircraft Medium aircraft Large aircraft All cargo Total Domestic 644 25 16 46 731 Non-scheduled international 271 22 16 29 338 Scheduled international 8 28 153 78 267 Total 923 75 185 153 1336
Types of licences held by Canadian air carriers (2013-2014)
Small aircraft Medium aircraft Large aircraft All cargo Total Domestic 655 24 15 46 740 Non-scheduled international 273 21 15 29 338 Scheduled international 9 28 148 81 266 Total 937 73 178 156 1344
Types of licences held by U.S. and other foreign air carriers (2017-2018)
Previous statistics on licences held by U.S. and other foreign carriers
Types of licences held by U.S. and other foreign air carriers (2016-2017)
U.S. Other Non-scheduled international 598 172 Scheduled international 42 110 Total 640 282
Types of licences held by U.S. and other foreign air carriers (2015-2016)
U.S. Other Non-scheduled international 601 160 Scheduled international 40 103 Total 641 263
Types of licences held by U.S. and other foreign air carriers (2014-2015)
U.S. Other Non-scheduled international 613 144 Scheduled international 40 96 Total 653 240
Types of licences held by U.S. and other foreign air carriers (2013-2014)
U.S. Other Non-scheduled international 618 143 Scheduled international 42 92 Total 660 235
Air licensing activities
|Amendment of licences initiated by the applicant||73||89||65||52||141|
|Amendment of licences initiated by the Agency||31||14||10||7||9|
|Suspensions initiated by the applicant||29||32||28||60||71|
|Suspensions initiated by the Agency||162||147||159||127||165|
|Code share authorities||26||73||99||93||65|
|Wet lease authorities||17||20||29||26||15|
Air charter permits
An international charter air service is a non-scheduled international service operated under a contractual arrangement between an air carrier and a charterer. Carriers holding a licence for a non-scheduled international service must get an Agency program permit or an authorization to operate Canadian-originating charter flights to any foreign country. The permit and authorization processes ensure that air carriers operating international charter flights comply with the Air Transportation Regulations.
Number of permits issued
|Passenger non-resaleable entity charters||226||179||178||158||179|
|Cargo non-resaleable entity charters||94||109||113||125||141|
Other air charter permit activities
|Exemptions granted to the charter regulations||643||603||594||552||592|
|Amendments to charter permits||9||13||30||31||27|
Air charter flight notifications
Air charter flight notifications for Canada – U.S. charters
|Canadian originating (non-resaleable passenger)||372||443||699||673||706|
|Canadian originating (cargo)||23||23||31||33||47|
|U.S. originating (passenger)||532||599||798||675||719|
|U.S. originating (cargo)||219||235||240||243||206|
Air charter flight notifications for other international charters
Note: As of April 1, 2014, the Agency has granted certain carriers with an exemption to operate last minute air ambulance and entity cargo charter flights following the Agency's elimination of its after-hours service.
These flights were processed using this new approach and would have ordinarily been captured under air charter permits issued.
|Foreign originating (passenger)||44||79||113||88||85|
|Foreign originating (cargo)||42||43||28||95||124|
|Canadian originating passenger non-resaleable entity charters||3||2||2||5||n/a|
|Canadian originating cargo non-resaleable entity charters||2||6||1||4||n/a|
Railway infrastructure and construction
The Agency approves specific railway line construction projects. If a railway company intends to construct a railway line, it must file an application with the Agency under section 98 of the Canada Transportation Act for approval.
|Railway crossing agreements filedNote 2||25||127||84||3||157|
|Approvals - railway line locations and construction of railway crossings||0||1||4||1||1|
|Approvals - railway line locations on federal lands||0||0||1||0||0|
|Notices of railway discontinuance received||3||3||2||11||0|
|Net salvage value determinationsNote 3||0||0||0||0||1|
|New, modified or cancelled certificates of fitness||0||6||10||5||7|
Marine coasting trade applications
Coasting trade licences are issued by the Minister of Public Safety to Canadian residents who have applied for permission to bring a foreign flagged vessel into Canadian waters to perform a service or activity over a specified period of time. You must simultaneously apply to the Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency to obtain a licence.
The Agency determines whether there are suitable Canadian ships available to carry out the activity described in the application. If the proposed activity involves the carriage of passengers, the Agency determines if there is an adequate marine service using Canadian vessels.
The Canada Border Services Agency cannot license anyone to use a foreign-registered ship until the Agency issues its determination.
A coasting trade licence is issued when there are no suitable Canadian vessels available to perform the service or activity.