Chair and CEO Scott Streiner press conference statement on Air Passenger Protection Regulations, May 24, 2019
Today marks a milestone for air travel in Canada.
The Air Passenger Protection Regulations, or APPR, will, for the first time, lay out airlines' minimum obligations to passengers if, for example, their flight is delayed or cancelled, they're denied boarding, they sit on a plane during a tarmac delay, or their baggage is lost or damaged. Those obligations include compensation of up to $1000 for a flight delay and up to $2400 for bumping in situations fully within the control of the airline.
For the millions of Canadians who take flights to see family and friends, visit new places, do business, or seek medical treatment, the APPR will help ensure fair treatment throughout their journeys – whether they're flying from, to, or within this vast country.
For airlines, the APPR will help foster consumer confidence and a level playing field.
This balanced package establishes clear, consistent rules for air travel. That's in everyone's interest.
The Canadian Transportation Agency – Canada's longest-standing independent regulator and tribunal – developed the first draft of the APPR following a comprehensive three-month consultation process launched last May 28, after Parliament adopted the Transportation Modernization Act introduced by the Minister of Transport. During that consultation process, we had 31,000 visits to our consultation website and received thousands of written submissions, questionnaires, surveys, and comments from consumer groups, the aviation industry, and Canadian travellers. The draft regulations were released on December 22 for a 60-day comment period.
Having considered the input received during that comment period, we've now finalized the APPR. The regulations will take effect in two phases.
On July 15, rules related to airline communication with passengers, tarmac delays, bumping, lost and damaged baggage, and the transportation of musical instruments will come into force. On December 15, rules related to flight delays and cancellations and the seating of children will come into force.
With the finalization of the APPR, the CTA is turning its attention to concrete steps to ensure that the new rules are well-understood and respected.
Next week, we'll issue a first batch of plain language guidance material next week. In the coming months, we'll launch a program of education, monitoring, and enforcement to help make sure the regulations are followed. And if a passenger thinks they haven't received what they're entitled to and the issue can't be resolved directly with the airline, we'll be here to help.
Information on the APPR and the CTA's services for air passengers can be found at airpassengerprotection.ca.
Air travel is integral to modern life. Thanks to the APPR, the air travel experience is about to become more predictable. Canadians will have – and will be informed of – a common set of rights when they board a plane.
I want to thank all the stakeholders and travellers who shared information and ideas with us during the consultation and comment periods. The APPR reflect their insights and expertise.
I also want to thank the CTA officials and other public servants who organized consultations, analysed feedback, developed options, and drafted the APPR. Their hard work and professionalism were indispensable to getting these ground-breaking regulations done in under a year.
Finally, thanks to all of you for joining us for today's announcement. This is an important day for Canadian air passengers and airlines.