Decisions

TATC File No. C-3061-52
MoT File No. R 4200 YQR

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

Darrell Novenski, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, s. 7.7
Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, SOR/2000-111, s. 10


Review Determination
David S. Ahmed


Decision: February 11, 2005

Darrell Novenski did contravene section 10 of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations. The monetary penalty of $300.00 is upheld. That amount must be paid to the Receiver General for Canada and received by the Tribunal within thirty-five days of service of this determination.

A review hearing on this matter was held Tuesday, January 18, 2005 at the Provincial Court Building, in Regina, Saskatchewan at 10:00 hours.

BACKGROUND

Mr. Darrell Novenski works as a baggage handler at Regina International Airport being employed by Air Canada. On September 22, 2004 whilst helping a passenger deplane, he pushed her wheelchair from a restricted into a non-restricted area for a short period of time. When he attempted to re-enter the restricted area, he was stopped by non-passenger screening officers and was asked to be searched and to leave the restricted area. Mr. Novenski refused both requests and was subsequently reported, interviewed at a later date by a Transport Canada Security Inspector and fined the sum of $300.00. Mr. Novenski requested a review hearing by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada which was the reason for this hearing.

Mr. Novenski was informed of the Notice of Assessment of Monetary Penalty in writing which states:

Pursuant to section 7.7 of the Aeronautics Act, the Minister of Transport has decided to assess a monetary penalty on the grounds that you have contravened the following provision(s):

On or about September 22, 2004, at the Regina International Airport in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Darrell Novenski remained inside a restricted area after refusing to submit to an authorized search of his person when requested to do so by a screening officer, thereby contravening section 10 of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations.

EVIDENCE

Mr. Joe Buker was the case presenting officer for Transport Canada. He read out the relevant section 10 of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations and stated that Transport Canada was able to prove that Mr. Darrell Novenski was indeed at fault. Mr. Buker had five witnesses.

The first witness was Mr. Todd Schurko. We were told that he was a screening officer who had worked for five years at the Regina International Airport. In July of 2004, he became a non-passenger screening officer. We were shown his Screening Officer's Certificate which was accepted as Exhibit M-1.

Mr. Schurko stated that he had observed Mr. Novenski leaving a restricted area with a wheelchair and when he attempted to return he requested that Mr. Novenski be stopped and searched and this was refused.

The next witness was Ms. Mabel Proctor. She was a screening officer at the Regina International Airport where she has been working for seven years. She confirmed the previous witness's statement also stating that when Mr. Novenski was asked why he was refusing a search he stated that he was "too busy".

The next witness was Mr. Ralph Schnell who is a Transport Canada Security Inspector based in Winnipeg. He is in charge of aviation security and deals with not only the Arctic but the three Prairie provinces. He stated that he was called to investigate the complaint against Mr. Novenski whom he interviewed on September 23, 2004 after cautioning him appropriately. He stated that Mr. Novenski confirmed that he was helping a lady in a wheelchair and that when he attempted to return to the restricted area he refused the search on the grounds that he had only been in the restricted area for a short period of time, was constantly being observed by the non-passenger screening officers and felt that it really was not necessary.

The fourth witness was Mr. Randy Schick who was a passenger control officer. He showed us a brief video. This video had been provided to Mr. Novenski at an earlier date but apparently it did not work. Mr. Novenski stated that he had no objections to this video being shown at the Tribunal hearing.

The video confirmed that Mr. Novenski left a restricted area for a brief period of time and then returned.

The last witness was a Mr. Calvin Glass. Mr. Glass was the Operations Manager in charge of screening. He pointed out that non-passenger screening done at random on airport workers is a part of security. He did state on September 8, 2004 when non-passenger screening was first introduced, Mr. Novenski was screened once and then was screened again later on the same day when he objected vehemently to being screened again.

Mr. Novenski's Testimony

Mr. Novenski confirmed that he was a baggage handler at Regina International Airport where he had worked for many years. He did not deny the fact that he left a restricted area and that when he attempted to return on September 22, 2004, a search was requested by the screening officers and he refused. He said that he had refused because he had only been out of the restricted area for a very brief period of time and did not see any reason why he should be searched. The fundamental basis of his argument was that the screening process that was being carried out on non-passengers was extremely inconsistent. He said that a couple of weeks later when he was re-entering a restricted area he volunteered to be searched and they told him that, "it was not necessary". He said he was also under the impression that non-passenger screening was only being carried out once a day at the most.

Mr. Novenski pointed out what were, in his opinion, several flaws in the security system at the Regina International Airport. For example, he said that if he wanted to go to a cargo area and then return there was very little screening carried out and often the screening officers were asleep! He stated that in his opinion it was not a very good system and that often screwdrivers, other sharp objects, etc. were present in restricted areas and could easily be used as weapons by people intending to use them for this purpose.

Transport Canada's case presenting officer, Mr. Joe Buker, made a closing statement in which he pointed out the importance of having strict security procedures in place in airports such as Regina. He felt that they had proved their case against Mr. Novenski and that the fine of $300.00 was justifiable. Mr. Novenski had no closing comments to make.

DETERMINATION

In my opinion, Transport Canada has proved without any doubt that Mr. Novenski, on attempting to return to the restricted area at Regina International Airport, refused to leave or submit to a search. He himself admitted the offence and I did not accept his explanation that because various aspects of Regina Airport's security system were "sloppy" that this could be used as an excuse to break the law. Consequently, I confirm Transport Canada 's decision to fine Mr. Novenski $300.00.

Dr. David Ahmed
Member
Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada


Interlocutory Decision


Decision: February 11, 2005

Darrell Novenski did contravene section 10 of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations. The monetary penalty of $300.00 is upheld. That amount must be paid to the Receiver General for Canada and received by the Tribunal within thirty-five days of service of this determination.

A review hearing on this matter was held Tuesday, January 18, 2005 at the Provincial Court Building, in Regina, Saskatchewan at 10:00 hours.

BACKGROUND

Mr. Darrell Novenski works as a baggage handler at Regina International Airport being employed by Air Canada. On September 22, 2004 whilst helping a passenger deplane, he pushed her wheelchair from a restricted into a non-restricted area for a short period of time. When he attempted to re-enter the restricted area, he was stopped by non-passenger screening officers and was asked to be searched and to leave the restricted area. Mr. Novenski refused both requests and was subsequently reported, interviewed at a later date by a Transport Canada Security Inspector and fined the sum of $300.00. Mr. Novenski requested a review hearing by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada which was the reason for this hearing.

Mr. Novenski was informed of the Notice of Assessment of Monetary Penalty in writing which states:

Pursuant to section 7.7 of the Aeronautics Act, the Minister of Transport has decided to assess a monetary penalty on the grounds that you have contravened the following provision(s):

On or about September 22, 2004, at the Regina International Airport in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Darrell Novenski remained inside a restricted area after refusing to submit to an authorized search of his person when requested to do so by a screening officer, thereby contravening section 10 of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations.

EVIDENCE

Mr. Joe Buker was the case presenting officer for Transport Canada. He read out the relevant section 10 of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations and stated that Transport Canada was able to prove that Mr. Darrell Novenski was indeed at fault. Mr. Buker had five witnesses.

The first witness was Mr. Todd Schurko. We were told that he was a screening officer who had worked for five years at the Regina International Airport. In July of 2004, he became a non-passenger screening officer. We were shown his Screening Officer's Certificate which was accepted as Exhibit M-1.

Mr. Schurko stated that he had observed Mr. Novenski leaving a restricted area with a wheelchair and when he attempted to return he requested that Mr. Novenski be stopped and searched and this was refused.

The next witness was Ms. Mabel Proctor. She was a screening officer at the Regina International Airport where she has been working for seven years. She confirmed the previous witness's statement also stating that when Mr. Novenski was asked why he was refusing a search he stated that he was "too busy".

The next witness was Mr. Ralph Schnell who is a Transport Canada Security Inspector based in Winnipeg. He is in charge of aviation security and deals with not only the Arctic but the three Prairie provinces. He stated that he was called to investigate the complaint against Mr. Novenski whom he interviewed on September 23, 2004 after cautioning him appropriately. He stated that Mr. Novenski confirmed that he was helping a lady in a wheelchair and that when he attempted to return to the restricted area he refused the search on the grounds that he had only been in the restricted area for a short period of time, was constantly being observed by the non-passenger screening officers and felt that it really was not necessary.

The fourth witness was Mr. Randy Schick who was a passenger control officer. He showed us a brief video. This video had been provided to Mr. Novenski at an earlier date but apparently it did not work. Mr. Novenski stated that he had no objections to this video being shown at the Tribunal hearing.

The video confirmed that Mr. Novenski left a restricted area for a brief period of time and then returned.

The last witness was a Mr. Calvin Glass. Mr. Glass was the Operations Manager in charge of screening. He pointed out that non-passenger screening done at random on airport workers is a part of security. He did state on September 8, 2004 when non-passenger screening was first introduced, Mr. Novenski was screened once and then was screened again later on the same day when he objected vehemently to being screened again.

Mr. Novenski's Testimony

Mr. Novenski confirmed that he was a baggage handler at Regina International Airport where he had worked for many years. He did not deny the fact that he left a restricted area and that when he attempted to return on September 22, 2004, a search was requested by the screening officers and he refused. He said that he had refused because he had only been out of the restricted area for a very brief period of time and did not see any reason why he should be searched. The fundamental basis of his argument was that the screening process that was being carried out on non-passengers was extremely inconsistent. He said that a couple of weeks later when he was re-entering a restricted area he volunteered to be searched and they told him that, "it was not necessary". He said he was also under the impression that non-passenger screening was only being carried out once a day at the most.

Mr. Novenski pointed out what were, in his opinion, several flaws in the security system at the Regina International Airport. For example, he said that if he wanted to go to a cargo area and then return there was very little screening carried out and often the screening officers were asleep! He stated that in his opinion it was not a very good system and that often screwdrivers, other sharp objects, etc. were present in restricted areas and could easily be used as weapons by people intending to use them for this purpose.

Transport Canada's case presenting officer, Mr. Joe Buker, made a closing statement in which he pointed out the importance of having strict security procedures in place in airports such as Regina. He felt that they had proved their case against Mr. Novenski and that the fine of $300.00 was justifiable. Mr. Novenski had no closing comments to make.

DETERMINATION

In my opinion, Transport Canada has proved without any doubt that Mr. Novenski, on attempting to return to the restricted area at Regina International Airport, refused to leave or submit to a search. He himself admitted the offence and I did not accept his explanation that because various aspects of Regina Airport's security system were "sloppy" that this could be used as an excuse to break the law. Consequently, I confirm Transport Canada 's decision to fine Mr. Novenski $300.00.

Dr. David Ahmed
Member
Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada