Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 152, Number 27: GOVERNMENT NOTICES
July 7, 2018
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Interim Order Respecting Battery-powered Hand-held Lasers
Whereas the annexed Interim Order Respecting Battery-powered Hand-held Lasers is required to deal with a significant risk, direct or indirect, to aviation safety or the safety of the public;
Whereas the provisions of the annexed Order may be contained in a regulation made pursuant to section 4.9 footnote a, paragraphs 7.6(1)(a) footnote b and (b) footnote c and section 7.7 footnote d of the Aeronautics Act footnote e;
And whereas, pursuant to subsection 6.41(1.2) footnote f of that Act, the Minister of Transport has consulted with the persons and organizations that that Minister considers appropriate in the circumstances before making the annexed Order,
Ottawa, June 28, 2018
Minister of Transport
Interim Order Respecting Battery-powered Hand-held Lasers
Definition of Regulations
1 (1) In this Interim Order, Regulations means the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
(2) Unless the context requires otherwise, all other words and expressions used in this Interim Order have the same meaning as in the Regulations.
(3) In the event of a conflict between this Interim Order and the Regulations, the Interim Order prevails.
2 (1) The provision set out in column I of the schedule is designated as a provision the contravention of which may be dealt with under and in accordance with the procedure set out in sections 7.7 to 8.2 of the Act.
(2) The amounts set out in column II of the schedule are the maximum amounts of the penalty payable in respect of a contravention of the designated provision set out in column I.
(3) A notice referred to in subsection 7.7(1) of the Act must be in writing and must specify
- (a) the particulars of the alleged contravention;
- (b) that the person on whom the notice is served or to whom it is sent has the option of paying the amount specified in the notice or filing with the Tribunal a request for a review of the alleged contravention or the amount of the penalty;
- (c) that payment of the amount specified in the notice will be accepted by the Minister in satisfaction of the amount of the penalty for the alleged contravention and that no further proceedings under Part I of the Act will be taken against the person on whom the notice in respect of that contravention is served or to whom it is sent;
- (d) that the person on whom the notice is served or to whom it is sent will be provided with an opportunity consistent with procedural fairness and natural justice to present evidence before the Tribunal and make representations in relation to the alleged contravention if the person files a request for a review with the Tribunal; and
- (e) that the person on whom the notice is served or to whom it is sent will be considered to have committed the contravention set out in the notice if they fail to pay the amount specified in the notice and fail to file a request for a review with the Tribunal within the prescribed period.
Battery-powered hand-held lasers
3 This Interim Order applies in respect of battery-powered hand-held lasers with a power output rating greater than 1 milliwatt.
4 (1) No person shall have in their possession a battery-powered hand-held laser
- (a) in the municipalities of the Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver regions listed in the table to this subsection; or
- (b) within a 10-km radius of the geometric centre of an airport or heliport.
|Montréal region||Toronto region||Vancouver region|
|Dorval||Halton Hills||New Westminster|
|Hampstead||Markham||North Vancouver (City)|
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if
- (a) the laser is in a dwelling-house; or
- (b) the person is in possession of the laser for a legitimate reason, including
- (i) the person uses the laser for occupational or business purposes,
- (ii) the person uses the laser for educational purposes,
- (iii) the person is transporting the laser in the course of their employment, and
- (iv) the person is a member of an astronomical society.
(Subsections 2(1) and (2))
Maximum Amount of Penalty ($)
(This note is not part of the Interim Order.)
This Order approves the Interim Order Respecting Battery-powered Hand-Held Lasers (Interim Order) made under subsection 6.41(1) of the Aeronautics Act (the Act) by the Minister of Transport on June 28, 2018.
Content of the Interim Order
The Interim Order applies to all battery-operated hand-held lasers with an output greater than 1 mW. Hand-held lasers with varying strengths may be used for recreational purposes and across various industries. For example, in the construction industry, a hand-held laser may be used to measure distances, while in the education sector, a hand-held laser may be used for making presentations.
The Interim Order prohibits possession of all battery-operated hand-held lasers with an output greater than 1 mW within a 10 km radius of the geometric centre of an airport or heliport in Canada and within the prescribed municipalities in the Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver regions. If an individual is in possession of a battery-operated hand-held laser within a private dwelling, the Interim Order does not apply. The 10 km radius was developed by Transport Canada (TC) subject matter experts using a mathematical and science-based calculation based on the visual effects a laser attack can have upon a pilot operating an aircraft during a critical phase of flight (such as take-off or final approach). The closer the laser attack takes place to an airport and the stronger the output of the laser, the graver the potential consequences of such an attack.
There are presently 316 certified aerodromes in Canada and 223 certified heliports. In the cases of Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver, the 10 km radiuses of the certified aerodromes and heliports cover the vast majority of the city boundaries and surrounding municipalities. As a result, TC has decided to clearly define these boundaries in the Interim Order as follows:
|Montréal Region||Toronto Region||Vancouver Region|
North Vancouver (City)
The Interim Order does not apply to individuals and/or groups with a legitimate reason to be in possession of a hand-held laser within the defined area. The legitimate-use category is intended to have a broad application to ensure that those individuals with a legitimate purpose in possession of a hand-held laser will not be subject to penalty. This will be communicated to delegated authorities as part of a comprehensive training package to ensure the Interim Order does not unnecessarily burden law-abiding citizens. Such legitimate uses include if an individual is acting within the scope of their employment or professional duties and can provide evidence of same. A legitimate reason may also include transporting a hand-held laser for use outside of the prohibited zone. If asked by a TC official or delegated authority, the individual must explain why they have a legitimate reason to be in possession of the hand-held laser. These types of exceptions will be clearly communicated in TC's proactive national communications plan.
Ultimately, as with the majority of tools available to enforcement authorities, each authority will exercise their discretion as to how to proceed based on the unique circumstances of each case. This will also be addressed as part of the training package disseminated to delegated authorities.
The Interim Order, in accordance with subsection 6.41(2) of the Act, ceases to have effect 14 days after it is made unless it is approved by the Governor in Council (GIC) within that period of time. Should GIC approval be granted, the Interim Order, in accordance with subsection 6.41(4) of the Act, will remain in effect for one year from the day it was made or until regulations having the same effect come into force.
The objective of this Interim Order is to address the high safety risks associated with laser attacks on aircraft by prohibiting possession of hand-held lasers with an output greater than 1 mW within the immediate vicinity of certified aerodromes and heliports where the majority of laser strikes occur. The intended result is a swift reduction in the number of laser strikes on aircraft and enhanced enforcement for offences through immediate issuance of administrative monetary penalties.
The protection of flight crew members against laser attacks has become a serious issue in aviation safety. There are high incidences of laser attacks on aircraft, which can be attributed to the fact hand-held lasers are now found virtually everywhere and almost any person can obtain one. At present, it is legally permissible in Canada to sell and use hand-held lasers with an output of 5 mW or less. If used illegally and contrary to the requirements of the Aeronautics Act, even the most innocuous hand-held laser can become a safety hazard by creating a disruption to performance of tasks in high-risk situations. Laser attacks can cause distraction, disorientation and eye damage for pilots and can result in high-risk safety situations during critical phases of flight.
In response to laser attacks on aircraft, TC implemented a public awareness and education campaign called "Not a Bright Idea" through social media, radio and television advertisements and information available on the TC website. Although public awareness and education has led to an overall decrease in laser strikes by 35% from 2015 to 2017, the campaign alone has not proven effective in significantly deterring laser attacks, as some regions have experienced an increase in laser attacks by 50% or greater. Laser attacks continue to occur on an almost daily basis. Statistics demonstrate that, historically, there is a spike in laser attacks over the warmer months, highlighting the urgency for the Minister to take immediate action with the approach of the summer season.
To address this prevalent and immediate risk to aviation safety, TC will be introducing amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) to designate section 601.20 (Projection of a Bright Light Source at an Aircraft) and subsection 601.21(1) [Requirement for Notification] as provisions the contravention of which may be dealt with under and in accordance with the procedure set out in sections 7.7 to 8.2 of the Act, which will allow TC to delegate authority to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and identified police forces to immediately enforce the designated provisions through the issuance of administrative monetary penalties (AMPs). TC is evaluating legislative and regulatory options to make this prohibition permanent.
The Interim Order provides a bridge between TC's current and future legislative or regulatory framework. The Interim Order also responds directly to concerns raised by the aviation industry and their request for the Minister of Transport (the Minister) to take action.
The Act authorizes the Minister to make an interim order where it is necessary to address a significant risk, direct or indirect, to aviation safety or the safety of the public. The Interim Order, in this case, mitigates the threat to safety that is associated with the high incidence rate of laser attacks against aircraft.
Through the Interim Order, the prohibition of possession is a designated provision and, accordingly, the maximum AMP is set at $5,000 for an individual and at $25,000 for a corporation.
The Minister's authority to issue AMPs for offences will be delegated to the RCMP and law enforcement agencies, including those whose jurisdiction extends over the three busiest airports (Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver). These delegated law enforcement agencies will be acting as TC officials and will be able to take immediate enforcement action for a contravention of the provision by issuing an AMP.
An individual or a corporation that has been issued an AMP under this Interim Order must pay the amount of the AMP or file a written request with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) for review. If the individual fails to pay the AMP and does not file a request for review with the TATC within the prescribed time limit, that individual will be deemed to have contravened the designated provision.
As hand-held lasers are easily accessible to the general public, TC will, immediately after the Interim Order is made, be engaging in a proactive national outreach and communication campaign with Canadians through public announcements, the TC website, and through social media and advertising to inform and educate the public about the prohibition requirements in this Interim Order, the enforcement activities related to the designated provisions, and to highlight safety benefits. The message that will be communicated to Canadians is that they can continue to possess hand-held lasers within a prohibited zone so long as they have a legitimate reason and/or they use the lasers within the confines of their own private dwelling. For persons outside of the prohibited zones, there are no changes and they will not be impacted.
Given the necessity of issuing the Interim Order due to the immediate risk to aviation safety, initial consultation concerning the development of the Interim Order was limited to a select group of stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies across Canada who will be responsible for enforcing the Interim Order, aviation stakeholders who are vulnerable targets for laser attacks and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, whose members use hand-held lasers regularly as part of their observation activities. These stakeholders were informed of the Minister's intention to make an interim order to address the issue of the possession of hand-held lasers and laser attacks on aircraft. The stakeholders were also invited at the same time to attend a briefing on the Interim Order and to ask any questions through teleconferences held on April 30 and May 1, 2018.
All stakeholders who attended were generally supportive of additional steps being taken to protect aviation safety. Concerns were raised with respect to the scope and application of the Interim Order. The aviation industry was concerned the Interim Order did not go far enough to address their concerns about the risk to aviation safety, while the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada was concerned the Interim Order may impede legitimate observation activities. These comments were taken into consideration when finalizing the content of the Interim Order.
As part of the development of TC's long-term strategy on the prohibition of hand-held lasers, TC will consult with a variety of stakeholders, including specific industries that regularly use laser technology and the general Canadian population. Given the broad applicability of the legitimate-use exception provided for in the Interim Order, the majority of Canadians and industries will fall into the "legitimate-use" category. This will allow for enforcement efforts to be focused on individuals who are in possession of a hand-held laser for improper purposes that pose a danger to aviation safety.
Health Canada was also consulted with respect to TC's overall strategy with respect to the use and possession of hand-held lasers, including the development of the Interim Order. At present, Health Canada considers laser pointers with an output of greater than 5 mW to be a danger to human health or safety under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA). As a result, they are prohibited in Canada from being sold, imported, advertised or manufactured. Health Canada is presently undertaking further research on the dangers of hand-held lasers with an output of less than 5 mW and with respect to the mislabeling of hand-held lasers purchased and imported to Canada. TC and Health Canada have been in continuous contact regarding the Interim Order and will ensure future campaigns are clearly aligned to ensure government messaging is consistent.
TC will continue to be proactive in consulting with stakeholders concerning the Interim Order. TC is also developing a communications strategy and related tools for proactive engagement with the public, including legitimate and non-legitimate uses of hand-held lasers. This strategy will include public announcements and advertisements, social media campaigns, and TC website page highlights with a focus on deterrence and immediate enforcement.
Policy and Regulatory Services (AARBH)
Civil Aviation, Safety and Security Group
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street
Telephone (general inquiries): 613-993-7284 or 1-800-305-2059
Internet address: http://www.tc.gc.ca
PRIVY COUNCIL OFFICE
We know that our country is stronger — and our government more effective — when decision-makers reflect Canada's diversity. The Government of Canada has implemented an appointment process that is transparent and merit-based, strives for gender parity, and ensures that Indigenous peoples and minority groups are properly represented in positions of leadership. We continue to search for Canadians who reflect the values that we all embrace: inclusion, honesty, fiscal prudence, and generosity of spirit. Together, we will build a government as diverse as Canada.
The Government of Canada is currently seeking applications from diverse and talented Canadians from across the country who are interested in the following positions.
The following opportunities for appointments to Governor in Council positions are currently open for applications. Every opportunity is open for a minimum of two weeks from the date of posting on the Governor in Council Appointments website.
|President and Chief Executive Officer||Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation|
|Chairperson||Canada Lands Company Limited|
|Members of the Board of Directors||Canada Post Corporation||July 12, 2018|
|President and Chief Executive Officer||Canada Post Corporation|
|Chairperson||Canadian Race Relations Foundation
|Chairperson||Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
|Commissioner of Corrections||Correctional Service Canada|
|Director||CPP Investment Board
|Commissioner||Financial Consumer Agency of Canada|
|Member (Sask., Man., and Alta.)||Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
||July 30, 2018|
|Members (appointment to roster)||International Trade and International Investment Dispute Settlement Bodies
|Chief Executive Officer||National Capital Commission||July 30, 2018|
|Director||National Gallery of Canada|
|Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise||Office of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise
|Commissioner of Competition||Office of the Commissioner of Competition|
|Superintendent||Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada|
|Veterans' Ombudsman||Office of the Veterans' Ombudsman|
|Chairperson||Social Security Tribunal of Canada|
|Chief Executive Officer||Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority|
|Commissioners||International Joint Commission|