by Jim Simpson (taken from the UPAC newsletter)
you have rights? Darn toot'n!!
out the window dreaming about flying your craft off your own
backyard strip? Warn a have a hanger too? Go ahead - what's
holding you back?
you heard that by virtue of the Constitution Act 1867 S.9 1, your
right to build an aerodrome without interference from the Province
or by extension, a lesser agency, is entrenched, carved in stone,
good as gold and all that Well it is! Can you find a piece of
land, beg or borrow, to fly from and build a hanger on? No one
save the Federal Government can stop, say nay or hold you back
from doing so. That's the truth!
too good to be true. There has to be a catch, right? Well, there
is a catch and it prevents some folks from doing anything, and
prompts others to sell off their rights. No need for either.
Exercise your rights and keep them. But realize that while the
Constitution Act enshrines your rights, it does not prevent others
from extorting them from you.
of the problems, but although certainly not exclusively, arise
with town- ships and by-laws. Sometimes you can inform and show
local officials of your rights in building an aerodrome and
receive their blessing without a hassle. With others, well,
nothing but a sound thumping in court and bundles of taxpayers
bucks will work. But should the threat of court action cause you
to give up your rights? I say absolutely not!
may say that's "Easy for me to say." Well, I've been
there and done just that. So I know what it's like. I put in an
airstrip and built a hanger without benefit of zoning or building
permit. I was taken to court; I won. The township had to pay my
for and purchasing a building permit acknowledges their authority
over you. If you sell your rights for the price of a building
permit, don't cry
when everything you want to do has to meet this or that code,
standard, regulation, or the inspector's whim or wish. If you ask
for permission and get turned down - then what? Are you just going
to look out the window and dream?
1954 the Supreme Court of Canada re-stated what a lesser government had been told, before things got out of hand. The court
said, "The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over
all matters of aviation." More recent court decisions have
reaffirmed these rights.
to preserve your rights without being frightened by threat of
court action. in the United States no such freedom exists; every
level of legislation has a shot at you before you can get off the
was concern a few years back, discussed with fear over coffee or
under the wing, about a rumour that Transport Canada proposed to
pass down certain authority over aviation to lesser governments.
Think about the flying if each province, much less each
municipality, enforced various aspects of aviation to suit their
Transport Canada sees that most aerodrome wanna-be's chose to sell
off their rights, they could, by mistake or otherwise, pass their
control over aerodromes to local governments. Conversely, by
fighting to retain and exercise your rights, Transport will see
that their authority over aerodromes is something we value and
will fight to keep.
headache? It certainly is but it need not be an overwhelming
stress. Say no to local governments extorting your rights. Prepare
your case beforehand. Do your homework and lay your intentions,
reasons and authority squarely on their desk. Let them know that
you're happy to discuss your position,
more appropriately their position.
This issue has been tried in
the courts time and time again. The outcome and the message are
always the same. These local agencies have more than ample
opportunity to research the rules and regulations on aerodromes.
They don't five in the dark. The use of the legal system is not an
experiment. Show them that abuse of authority carries with it
you find yourself contemplating building an aerodrome and need to
know more about the legislation and so on, please feel free to
contact me (J.F. Simpson, RR #5, Chatsworth, ON, NOH 1GO, phone/
Stick to your rights!
Simpson has 23 years experience in law enforcement in Ontario. He
is a licensed pilot and is working on his Flight Instructor Rating
for Ultralight Aeroplane. He has an aerodrome in his backyard.
has an information package available