The Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada replaced 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, being chapter 29 of the Statutes of Canada, 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. Sections 2 and 3 of The Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act amends the Aeronautics Act, the Canada Shipping Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act, the Railway Safety Act, the Canada Transportation Act, the International Bridges and Tunnels Act and the Canada Marine Act to establish the jurisdiction and decision-making authorities of the Tribunal under those Acts.


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.

It is noteworthy to mention that the increased jurisdiction for the Tribunal will enlarge the caseload considerably over the next few years, but the business line will not be amended.

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-seven part-time members were in office during 2008-2009. Members are drawn from across Canada and are appointed by order in council on the basis of their knowledge and expertise. During fiscal year 2008-2009, eight part time members were appointed: three in marine and five in aviation.

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: Organizational Chart

Figure 1: Organizational Chart

  • The lower half of the organization chart displays the distribution of part‑time members and their area of expertise by region. All members report to the Chairperson.
  • Twelve full-time equivalents (FTEs) are utilized by the continuing full-time employees, including the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. The 27 part-time members utilize the equivalent of 5 full-time equivalents. During fiscal year 2008-2009, eight new part‑time members were appointed.