Decisions

TATC File No. C-3130-02
MoT File No. RAP5504-054492 P/B

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

Edwin James St. Pierre, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, s. 6
Canadian Aviation Regulations, SOR/96-433, s. 302.11(1)


Review Determination
William Thornton Tweed


Decision: January 18, 2006

The allegation is dismissed and the one-day suspension is cancelled.

A review hearing on this matter was held Monday, December 5, 2005 at the Federal Court of Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

BACKGROUND

It is alleged that on or about June 21, 2004, the applicant was smoking on Apron II at the Thompson Manitoba Airport.

FACTS

There is no dispute that on June 21, 2004, Mr. St. Pierre exited the back door of a Hawker Siddley 748 that was parked on Apron II of the Thompson Manitoba Airport. He walked down the stairs, under the tail of the aircraft, then off of the apron to the parking lot, entered his car and drove away. There is also no dispute that he had a cigarette in his hand.

The evidence also confirmed that Mr. Hogarth, another pilot on the same aircraft, was at the top of the stairs with Mr. St. Pierre.

The Minister's only witness to the alleged incident, Inspector Winter, said Mr. St. Pierre was not smoking on the stairs but he was smoking as he walked across the ramp.

The applicant gave evidence that he is a smoker, that he was anxious for a cigarette, that he took a cigarette out of the package, that he had it in his hand when he exited the aircraft, but that he did not light the cigarette until he was off the apron and in his car.

ARGUMENT

The Minister says I should accept the inspector's evidence and disregard the evidence of the applicant.

The applicant says the cigarette was not lit; therefore, he was not smoking and that I should accept his evidence and dismiss the charge.

FINDING

There was nothing in the testimony of either witness that would cause me to question their credibility and there was nothing to corroborate their testimony.

Unfortunately Mr. Hogarth was not called to testify.

The Minister must prove his case on the balance of probabilities. A witness for and a witness against does not discharge the Minister's onus. I therefore dismiss the allegation and cancel the one-day suspension.

January 18, 2006

William T. Tweed
Member
Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada