2013 Press Releases

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Business Aviation Groups Welcome Canadian Court's Overturn of Untenable Aircraft-Use Policy

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, August 12, 2013 – The business aviation community on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border welcomed recent action by the Canadian Federal Court to overturn on appeal a position by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) that would have had extremely adverse ramifications for companies using business aviation to conduct routine flights between the two countries.

The CTA had ruled that a U.S. company was providing transportation to the public, and would be required to provide the compliance and certifications of a scheduled airline carrier. The NBAA Member Company involved in the court’s decision, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ, was conducting cross-border flights between the U.S. and Canada in 2008 and 2009 when the CTA issued its adverse ruling.

The ruling would have, in effect, interpreted that flights carrying anyone other than direct employees of a given company would be treated by the Canadian authorities as an airline, and subject to CTA-compliance requirements for airlines that would be prohibitive for a typical company using its own airplane for business purposes. After several lengthy appeal rounds, the Canadian high court overturned the CTA’s position on July 18, 2013.

Both the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) supported the legal case challenging the CTA’s position, arguing that such a regulatory approach would be devastating to business aviation, not only from a cost and compliance standpoint, but also because the ruling failed to recognize that companies have long relied on their airplanes as a critical asset for transporting non-company personnel – including business partners, clients, consultants, prospective customers and others – from distant locations to their places of business in support of their companies’ overall business objectives.

“NBAA joins with our Canadian counterpart in welcoming this decision from the court,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The CTA’s policy would have serious implications not just for U.S. companies using airplanes for business travel to and from Canada, but for commerce between our two countries. To strip a business of its ability to use an airplane to bring external personnel to a company’s facilities for meetings, product demonstrations and other business reasons would be to take away a key competitive rationale for the airplane itself.”

Bolen also noted that applying the CTA’s type of policy to business aviation could have unintended economic consequences for trade between the two countries. In addition to sharing the longest border in the world, at more than 5,500 miles, Canada and the United States are also top trading partners. With this close geographic and economic relationship, many business aircraft operators from both countries conduct frequent cross-border flights.

“If the CTA ruling had it been allowed to stand, it surely would have dampened activity between two of the world’s premier trading partners, and the economic activity that comes with it,” Bolen said.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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