Archived — SOR/99-107

Registration
SOR/99-107

Radiocommunication Act

Regulations Amending The Radiocommunication Regulations — P.C. 1999-320

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry, pursuant to section 6Footnote a of the Radiocommunication ActFootnote b, hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Radiocommunication Regulations.

Amendments

1. The Radiocommunication Regulations Footnote 1 are amended by adding the following after section 15:

Exemption of Radio Apparatus on Board an Aircraft

15.1 (1) This section applies in respect of an aircraft that is

  1. registered or licensed under an Act of Parliament; or
  2. owned by, or under the direction or control of, Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

(2) A radio apparatus that is operated on board an aircraft in the performance of the aeronautical service or the radiodetermination service is exempt from subsection 4(1) of the Act, in respect of a radio licence, if

  1. the operation of the radio apparatus occurs when
    1. the aircraft is within Canada,
    2. the aircraft is outside Canada and the territory of another country, or
    3. the aircraft is in the territory of another country with which Canada has entered into a reciprocal agreement that confers similar privileges on Canadians;
  2. the operation of the radio apparatus is in accordance with the technical requirements for mobile stations operating in the aeronautical service that are specified in section 34.1; and
  3. the radio apparatus meets the applicable standards.

Exemption of Radio Apparatus on Board a Ship or Vessel

15.2 (1) This section applies in respect of a ship or vessel that is

  1. registered or licensed under an Act of Parliament; or
  2. owned by, or under the direction or control of, Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

(2) A radio apparatus that is operated on board a ship or vessel in the performance of the maritime service or the radiodetermination service is exempt from subsection 4(1) of the Act, in respect of a radio licence, if

  1. the operation of the radio apparatus occurs when
    1. the ship or vessel is within Canada,
    2. the ship or vessel is outside Canada and the territory of another country, or
    3. the ship or vessel is in the territory of another country with which Canada has entered into a reciprocal agreement that confers similar privileges on Canadians;
  2. the operation of the radio apparatus is in accordance with the technical requirements for mobile stations operating in the maritime service specified in section 34.2; and
  3. the radio apparatus meets the applicable standards.

2. Section 34 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

34. (1) A person who holds a radio licence authorizing the operation of any radio apparatus in the aeronautical service or maritime service may permit another person to operate the radio apparatus only if the other person holds the appropriate radio operator certificate set out in column I of any of items 1 and 3 to 14 of Schedule II.

(2) A person who operates any radio apparatus that is exempt from licensing in accordance with section 15.1 in the case of the aeronautical service, or section 15.2 in the case of the maritime service, may permit another person to operate the radio apparatus only if the other person holds the appropriate radio operator certificate set out in column I of any of items 1 and 3 to 14 of Schedule II.

Operation in the Aeronautical Service

34.1 A person shall operate any radio apparatus on board an aircraft in the aeronautical service in accordance with the Technical Requirements for the Operation of Mobile Stations in the Aeronautical Service, issued by the Minister, as amended from time to time.

Operation in the Maritime Service

34.2 A person shall operate any radio apparatus on board a ship or vessel in the maritime service in accordance with the Technical Requirements for the Operation of Mobile Stations in the Maritime Service, issued by the Minister, as amended from time to time.

Coming Into Force

3. These Regulations come into force on


Footnotes

Footnote a

S.C. 1989, c. 17, s. 4

Return to footnote a referrer

Footnote b

S.C. 1989, c. 17, s. 2

Return to footnote b referrer

Footnote 1

SOR/96-484

Return to footnote 1 referrer


Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
(This statement is not part of the Regulation.)

Description

Industry Canada manages the use and development of the radio frequency spectrum for such essential radiocommunications services as over-the-air broadcasting, mobile radio, satellite, cellular, public safety, and the aeronautical and maritime services.

This initiative is directed at the aeronautical and maritime services. Currently, Industry Canada issues approximately eighty thousand individual radio licences to people operating radios in these services. The operation of radio apparatus is authorized to provide for the safety, navigation and other operations of aircraft or ships as well as the exchange of messages for the public.

These amendments to the Radiocommunication Regulations waive the requirement for obtaining a radio licence, in the aeronautical or maritime service, in order to operate radio apparatus (a mobile station) on board an aircraft, a ship, or a vessel provided that the apparatus complies with the following exemption criteria:

  1. restrictions relating to the international area of operation of the aircraft, ship or vessel;
  2. technical requirements for the operation of mobile stations in the service to ensure proper operation of the radio apparatus in the applicable frequency bands; and
  3. the use of approved radio apparatus that meets applicable standards.

The criteria were selected to exempt as many mobile radio stations as possible based upon sound spectrum management principles and to not have a negative impact on safety in the aeronautical and maritime services. The exemption criteria also recognize that the majority of the licensees that operate mobile stations in the aeronautical or maritime services are granted similar operating privileges as a term and condition of their licence.

For example, in the aeronautical service the terms of the licence are set out in the document "Technical Requirements for the Operation of Mobile Stations in the Aeronautical Service". The common set of obligations in this document regarding the use of the frequency bands, identifying the mobile station and using approved equipment facilitates delicensing the majority of mobile stations that operate in this radiocommunication service in Canada. Mobile stations in the maritime service are treated in a similar way.

Delicensing rather than deregulation of these types of stations effectively removes the administrative burden created by issuing licences and paying radio licence fees. It also improves the efficiency of the Department's spectrum management programme without compromising the regulatory regime for these services.

Effective regulatory control in the aeronautical and maritime service will be maintained by requiring the radio operators in these services to hold an operator's certificate and to share the use of internationally allocated radio frequency bands used exclusively for these services. The use of standard radio equipment that meets the requirements of Industry Canada and the Department of Transport also ensures effective control. In short, the operators of these stations must continue to comply with any Acts or regulations governing their use.

The exemption may apply to the private and commercial operators of aircraft, ships and vessels. Those engaged in domestic recreational flying, boating, or as commercial regional airline carriers or in commercial fishing may benefit from this initiative. For example, most of the privately operated small aircraft within Canada would be exempted. Fewer commercially operated aircraft would qualify because they may fly international routes.

Licences for radio apparatus on board aircraft and ships will continue to be issued to comply with certain international treaty obligations. For example, a licence will be required for radio apparatus on board an aircraft that is registered in Canada and that flies in the territory of another country. The current annual radio licence fee of $36 per station will apply.

A licence will also be required for radio apparatus on board a ship or vessel that is registered in Canada and that travels in the territory of another country. Ships or vessels compulsorily fitted with radio apparatus in accordance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 or the Department of Transport's Canada Shipping Act may continue to require a licence. In each case, the current annual radio licence fee of $36 per station will apply.

In the aeronautical or maritime service, fixed stations – those located at an airport or at a port – will still need to be licensed and pay the current annual renewal fee of $41. Licensing of fixed stations in these services ensures compliance with international and domestic frequency coordination requirements.

A radio licence will also be required for aircraft and ship stations that use frequencies in the land mobile service and the applicable fees will be charged.

It is anticpated that these regulatory amendments will come into force to correspond with the expiry date of existing licences and the beginning of the next annual licence renewal.

Alternatives

Three alternatives were considered: keeping the status quo, adopting a one time licensing regime and seeking partners to assume licensing responsibilities on behalf of the Department.

Continuing with the existing practice of requiring radio station applications and collecting fees from the majority of licensees in these services is no longer acceptable. The Department has determined that for certain radiocommunication services individual licences are not needed to manage the radio spectrum and control the use of the radio apparatus.

One time rather than annual licensing of aircraft and ship radio apparatus would still require significant program resources. This option does not significantly reduce the regulatory paper burden of administering and issuing individual licences because of the large number of transfers of ownership of pleasure boats and aircraft.

Partnerships with Transport Canada and NAVCAN to assume licensing responsibility were discussed. Officials from both organizations indicated they did not see the value added by them undertaking the licensing of radio apparatus on board aircraft. A similar response was also expressed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada in respect of undertaking the licensing of ship radio stations.

Benefits and Costs

Benefits

The Department will benefit by yearly savings in reducing costs of approximately $116 K associated with issuing new licences, making amendments and printing and mailing renewal invoices and licences. The spectrum management programme resources currently involved with these transactional activities can be deployed to implement new radiocommunication services.

The operators of these stations that meet the exemption criteria will no longer need to obtain a radio licence or pay radio licence fees. This reduces the cost for all the parties and eliminates delay in obtaining aeronautical and maritime radiocommunication services.

No adverse impact upon the spectrum is anticipated.

Costs

Revenue from licence fees will decrease by approximately $2.67 M with $600 K attributed to the aeronautical service and $2.07 M for the maritime service. This decrease in licence fee revenue is about 1 % of the total licence fee revenue for the 1998-1999 fiscal year.

Consultation

Consultations with other government Departments and organizations have been very favourable during Industry Canada's review of the licensing policy for radio equipment onboard aircraft and ships in Canada. The following views have been expressed while assessing the level of support for the initiative.

The Air Line Pilots Association-Canada has no objection to abolishing the requirements for private operators to have a radio licence for domestic operations provided that the radio equipment meets all the appropriate technical standards.

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association fully supports the initiative and applauds the Department's efforts to seek a reciprocal operating agreement with the American Authorities that will allow exempt Canadian stations to operate in the United States without having to obtain a radio licence. The Americans have already eliminated their domestic licensing requirements.

Retaining equipment certification and technical operational requirements as part of the exemption criteria satisfy NAVCAN concerns over the proposal from either an Air Traffic Services operational perspective or a technical standard perspective. Transport Canada Civil Aviation also supports the initiative as the total effect of the exemption is solely to eliminate the document (licence) for domestic operation and the associated fee.

Officials from the Department of Transport Marine and Department of Fisheries and Oceans reviewed the proposal and aniticipate no negative impact on their respective marine programs.

During a presentation to the Canadian Marine Association of Council (CMAC), representatives of the commercial fishing industry and members of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System subcommittee expressed their support for the proposal to de emphasize radio station licensing for the bulk of the marine community.

The Canadian Power and Sail Squadron support the proposal provided it meets with the Canadian Coast Guard approval and that operator proficiency certification is maintained. The elimination of radio station licences and the associated fees may improve safety on the water by acting as an incentive for boaters to install a radio on their vessel and respond to distress calls.

Compliance and Enforcement

Although an operator's radio apparatus in the aeronautical or maritime service is exempt from radio licensing requirements, the operator of the apparatus is still subject to the Radiocommunication Act and the Radiocommunication Regulations made thereunder. Improved radio equipment standards, the interest of the operator in maintaining the apparatus for purposes of safety, and regulatory sanctions, such as ticketing issued under the Contraventions Act, where appropriate, will continue to ensure the orderly management of the radio frequency spectrum for the aeronautical and maritime services.

Contact

Mr. Darius Breau, Manager
Spectrum Management Operations Directorate
Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Regulatory Branch
Industry Canada, 300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8
telephone: 613-990-4736;
Fax: 613-952-9871;
Internet: breau.darius@ic.gc.ca
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