Pursuant to subsection 5.9(2) of the Aeronautics Act, and after taking into account that the exemption is both in the public interest and is not likely to adversely affect aviation safety, I hereby exempt Air Canada, Air Canada Centre – 1210, P.O. Box 14000, Postal Station Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, H4Y 1H4 from the requirements of subclause 725.40(3)(a)(iii)(B)(I) of the Commercial Air Service Standards (CASS) made pursuant to Section 705.40 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), subject to the following conditions.
Subsection 705.40(4) requires that for the purposes of Section 602.08, no air operator shall permit the use of a portable electronic device on board an aircraft unless the air operator has established procedures that
(a) meet the Commercial Air Service Standards; and
(b) are specified in the air operator's company operations manual.
Subclause 725.40(3)(a)(iii)(B)(I) of the CASS requires that portable two-way radio communication devices use is prohibited at all times when the aircraft engines are running, excluding the auxiliary power unit.
The purpose of this exemption is to permit Air Canada to enable the use of WiFi Onboard Connectivity on board A319 aeroplanes equipped with a broadband services system produced by AirCell LLC, during the cruising phase and once the aeroplane is operating at or above 10,000 feet ASL.
The Air Canada GoGo Internet service will enable passengers to surf the web, check emails and do instant messaging by means of transmitting and receiving signals.
This exemption applies only to Air Canada A319 aeroplanes equipped with a broadband services system produced by AirCell LLC, during the cruising phase and once the aeroplane is operating at or above 10,000 feet ASL.
This exemption is subject to the following conditions:
- Air Canada may enable the use of WiFi capable transmitting portable electronic devices and laptop computers (TPEDs), when engines are running, only during the cruise phase of flight, or when at or above an altitude of 10,000 feet ASL and only in accordance with section 602.86 of the CARs, pertaining to the stowage of Carry-on Baggage, Equipment and Cargo;
- Air Canada shall implement procedures to advise passengers when to use TPEDs, including the requirement to stow laptop computers during turbulence episodes exceeding light turbulence;
- In accordance with the regulatory requirements, if interference from a TPED is suspected, Air Canada shall prohibit the use of the device and submit reports of portable electronic device interference to the Director - Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada;
- Air Canada shall provide crew members with initial and recurrent training on the emergency and safety procedures associated with the use of TPEDs;
- Air Canada shall amend the applicable parts of their Company Operations Manual and crew member training programs to reflect the changes in emergency and safety procedures associated with the use of TPEDs;
- Air Canada shall carry a copy of this exemption on board its A319 aeroplanes while operating pursuant to CAR 705.
This exemption is valid until the earliest of:
- February 28, 2014 at 23:59 EST;
- the date on which any condition set out in this exemption is breached; or
- the date on which this exemption is cancelled in writing by the Minister where he is of the opinion that it is no longer in the public interest or is likely to adversely affect aviation safety.
Dated at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on this 31st day of August 2012, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
Original signed by Martin J. Eley
Martin J. Eley