Decisions

TATC File No. C-3617-27
MoT File No. 5802-734509

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

Anton Jude Benedict, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, ss. 6.71(1)


Review Determination
Howard M. Bruce


Decision: January 15, 2010

Citation: Benedict v. Canada (Minister of Transport), 2010 TATCE 1 (review)

Heard at Calgary, Alberta, on December 15, 2009

Held: I confirm the decision of the Minister of Transport to refuse to issue a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane to Anton Jude Benedict.

I. BACKGOUND

[1] On August 19, 2009, the Minister of Transport issued a refusal to issue a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane to the Applicant, Anton Jude Benedict, because he did not meet the knowledge written examination requirement of subsection 421.30(3) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations ("CARs") and the skill requirement of subsection 421.30(5) of the CARs, pursuant to subsection 6.71(1) of the Aeronautics Act ("Act").

[2] On August 27, 2009, the Applicant filed a request for review of the Minister's decision with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada ("Tribunal").

II. STATUTES, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES

[3] To be granted a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane, an individual must fulfill the requirements set out in subsections 421.30(3) and (5) of the CARs:

421.30 The requirements in respect of an application for a Commercial Pilot Licence — Aeroplane are the following:

(3) Knowledge

Ground School Instruction

(a) An applicant shall have completed a minimum of 80 hours commercial pilot aeroplane ground school instruction including at least the following subjects:

(i) Canadian Aviation Regulations,

(ii) aerodynamics and theory of flight,

(iii) meteorology,

(iv) airframes, engines and systems,

(v) flight instruments,

(vi) radio and electronic theory,

(vii) navigation,

(viii) flight operations,

(ix) licensing requirements, and

(x) human factors including pilot decision‑making.

(b) An applicant who is a graduate from an approved integrated course shall have completed the applicable course requirements in section 426.75 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

Written Examination

(c) All applicants shall have obtained a minimum of 60% in each of the following four mandatory subjects areas as well as in the overall written examination Commercial Pilot Licence — Aeroplane (CPAER):

(i) Air Law ‑ regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements relevant to the licence,

(ii) Navigation ‑ navigation, radio aids and electronic theory,

(iii) Meteorology, and

(iv) Aeronautics ‑ General Knowledge ‑ airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments and flight operations.

(d) An applicant who is a graduate from an approved integrated course shall have completed the applicable course requirements in section 426.75 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

(5) Skill

Within the 12 months preceding the date of application for the licence, an applicant for a commercial pilot licence — aeroplane shall successfully complete a flight test to the standard outlined in the Flight Test Guide Commercial Pilot Licence — Aeroplane (TP13462E).

[4] With respect to the knowledge written examination requirement specified in subsection 421.30(3) of the CARs, subsection 400.03(1) of the CARs specifies the following:

400.03(1) Subject to subsection (3), tests, skill letters and examinations, including all sections of a sectionalized examination, that are required for the issuance of a permit or licence or for the endorsement of a permit or licence with a rating shall be completed during the 24-month period immediately preceding the date of the application for the permit, licence or rating.

III. EVIDENCE

A. Minister of Transport

(1) Pete Firlotte

[5] Pete Firlotte is an aviation licensing inspector with Transport Canada. Although he had never met the Applicant prior to the review hearing, he had been briefed on the file and had examined the pertinent documentation.

[6] During Inspector Firlotte's testimony, a copy of the refusal to issue a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane dated August 19, 2009, was produced as evidence (Exhibit M-1).

[7] Inspector Firlotte explained that subsection 421.30(3) of the CARs requires that an applicant for a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane pass a written examination to satisfy the necessary knowledge requirement. Inspector Firlotte also indicated that subsection 400.03(1) of the CARs requires that this written examination be completed during the 24‑month period immediately preceding the date of the application for a licence.

[8] The following documents were also produced as evidence:

  • a copy of written examination results dated July 27, 2009, indicating that the Applicant had failed;
  • a copy of written examination results dated June 28, 2007, indicating that the Applicant had failed;
  • a printout from the Transport Canada database, listing the exams taken by the Applicant since November 11, 2001; and
  • a letter dated December 10, 2009, from Henry Schultz, Senior General Counsel and Director, Department of Justice Canada, confirming that secretary's certificates could not be issued to the Minister of Transport (Exhibit M-2).

[9] According to Inspector Firlotte, these documents clearly show that the Applicant has not satisfied the knowledge requirement and the skill requirement in the 24‑month period immediately preceding his application of August 18, 2009. Consequently, a licence could not be issued.

[10] When questioned about an application made by the Applicant in 2004, to obtain a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane, Inspector Firlotte indicated that there was no indication in the Transport Canada database that such an application had been received.

B. Applicant

(1) Anton Jude Benedict

[11] The Applicant testified that he had passed his written examination on May 10, 2002 (Exhibit M-2), and that his application for a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane was submitted on time, May 10, 2004, despite the fact that the reception stamp on this document is dated May 18, 2004 (Exhibit A-1). He stated that he was never notified by letter in 2004 that his application had been denied.

[12] With respect to his August 18, 2009 application, the Applicant agreed that he did not meet the necessary requirements for the issuance of a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane (Exhibit‑A-1).

[13] During cross-examination, the Applicant indicated that he had included a certified cheque with his application in May 2004, but added that it was never cashed. He also stated that on May 20, 2004, he was advised by Transport Canada that his application was incomplete, as his logbook was not certified. He proceeded to have his logbook certified and brought it back to the Transport Canada office on May 27, 2004.

[14] The Applicant reiterated that he was never officially notified in 2004 that his application had been denied. At that time, he had no knowledge of recourses he would have had before the Tribunal.

IV. MINISTER'S CLOSING STATEMENT

[15] The Minister's representative argues that the facts in the present case clearly establish that, further to his application of August 18, 2009, the Applicant did not meet the knowledge written examination requirement of subsection 421.30(3) of the CARs and the skill requirement of subsection 421.30(5) of the CARs. Consequently, the Minister refused to issue to the Applicant a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane (Exhibit M-2).

[16] With respect to the 2004 application, it appears that it was not received within the 24‑month period immediately following the successful completion of the written examination, and this is probably why it was never officially processed.

V. APPLICANT'S CLOSING STATEMENT

[17] The Applicant asks the Tribunal to take into consideration the 2004 application, as it had been properly submitted. At that time, a licence should have been issued, or at the very least, a written refusal that he could have contested.

[18] The Applicant made no representations regarding the August 18, 2009 application and refusal letter of August 19, 2009.

VI. EVIDENCE, LEGISLATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS

[19] The Tribunal must stress that the sole object of this review hearing is the application for a licence presented by the Applicant on August 18, 2009, and the subsequent refusal letter of August 19, 2009, in which the Minister notified the Applicant that it was unable to issue him a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane because he did not meet the knowledge written examination requirement of subsection 421.30(3) of the CARs and the skill requirement of subsection 421.30(5) of the CARs.

[20] The Tribunal must thus examine whether the Applicant, further to his application of August 18, 2009, satisfied the requirements specified by the CARs for the issuance of a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane.

[21] The issue of, what did or did not happen in 2004, is irrelevant in the present matter. In fact, the Applicant was unable to recall exactly what happened at that time, although he stated that the certified cheque which accompanied his application was never cashed. This seems to indicate that his application was simply not processed in May 2004, because it was not submitted within the proper time limit. However, whatever happened in May 2004 is of no consequence in the present matter.

[22] The Tribunal concludes that documents presented as evidence (Exhibit M-2) clearly indicate that, further to his application on August 18, 2009, the Applicant did not meet the knowledge written examination requirement and the skill requirement for the issuance of a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane. The Applicant recognized these facts during his testimony.

[23] The Minister thus correctly notified the Applicant on August 19, 2009, of the refusal to issue him a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane.

VII. DETERMINATION

[24] I confirm the decision of the Minister to refuse to issue a commercial pilot licence − aeroplane to the Applicant.

January 15, 2010

Howard M. Bruce

Member