The Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada replaces the Civil Aviation Tribunal which was established under Part IV of the Aeronautics Act in 1986. On the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to section 73 of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act, assented to on December 18, 2001, the Act officially came into force on June 30, 2003. The Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada, a multi-modal tribunal, is available to the air, rail and marine sectors. Section 2 of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act amends the Aeronautics Act, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the Canada Transportation Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act and the Railway Safety Act to establish the jurisdiction and decision-making authorities of the Tribunal under those Acts. The Tribunal's caseload will increase considerably over the next few years.


The Tribunal's principal mandate, as a multi-modal review body, is to hold review and appeal hearings at the request of interested parties with respect to certain administrative actions taken under various federal transportation Acts.

Program Objective and Description

The objective of the program is to provide the transportation community with the opportunity to have enforcement and licensing decisions of the Minister of Transport reviewed by an independent body.

The Minister's enforcement and licensing decisions may include the issuance of orders, the imposition of monetary penalties or the suspension, cancellation, refusal to renew, or the refusal to issue or amend documents of entitlement on medical or other grounds. The person or corporation affected is referred to as the document holder.

These decisions are reviewed through a two-level hearing process: review and appeal. All hearings are to be held expeditiously and informally, in accordance with the rules of fairness and natural justice.

At the conclusion of a hearing, the Tribunal may confirm the Minister's decision, substitute its own decision, or refer the matter back to the Minister for reconsideration.

Organizational Structure

The Tribunal's Chairperson is also its chief executive officer. The Chairperson is responsible for the direction and supervision of the work necessary to facilitate the functions of the Tribunal. The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and immediate staff account for 12 full-time equivalents.

Twenty-nine part-time members were in office during 2007-2008, twenty-five in aeronautics, including medicine, three in rail, and one in marine. Members are drawn from across Canada and are appointed by order in council on the basis of their knowledge and expertise. The office of the Tribunal is located in the National Capital Region.

Basic Principles

The basic principles governing the Tribunal are those of independence and expertise. The sound and competent execution of the Tribunal's mandate determines its effectiveness in dealing with the Canadian transportation community.

The Tribunal offers its services in both official languages of Canada. It is also itinerant, in the sense that its hearings take place throughout Canada, at the convenience of the parties to the extent possible.

In enforcement matters, the location will normally be where the alleged infraction occurred, or the nearest practical alternative, so that witnesses for the parties may present themselves with minimum displacement costs.

In medical cases, hearings will be held at the location which is nearest to the residence of the document holder and attainable by way of commercial transportation.

Figure 1: Organization Chart

Figure 1: Organization Chart