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Another milestone and precedent in preserving our freedom to fly!

from COPA

Just before Christmas, Quebec Superior Court reversed a judgment from a municipal court in Lévis, QC. The issue was once more an entity trying to do indirectly what it could not do directly: to decide the outcome and the fate of an aerodrome (i.e. aeronautics), when only the Federal Government can do so. The airport has been there for something like fifty years and they recently started skydiving activities. That’s when the city passed a bylaw prohibiting skydiving, building hangars without permits, and so on. The municipal judge had concluded something to the effect that “recreational skydiving was not part of the core of aeronautics”, thus the city could levy fines and impose what it wanted.

Not yet translated into English, the judgement can be found here.

The conclusion of the Superior Court Judge is the following (my translation):

[165] The trial judge erred in law in concluding that the skydiving activities in issue were not at the core of federal aeronautical jurisdiction, and consequently, rejecting the doctrine of inter-jurisdictional immunity.

[166] It is also concluded that the by-laws of the City of Lévis prohibiting the conduct of skydiving activities, including facilities related to skydiver training activities (the Zoning Regulations and the Regulations on permits and Certificates) constitute an obstacle to the federal power over aeronautics. Consequently, these regulations must be declared inapplicable against the appellant.

COPA had been following closely for over a year. Among others, the COPA Supreme Court judgements (2010 SCC 39 and 2010 SCC 38) from 2010 were cited as a jurisprudence. more

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