Minister of Transport / Ministre des Transports
Today at 8:32 AM
Mr. Gregory Hartnell
Dear Mr. Hartnell:
I am responding to your correspondence of June 19, 2013, to my predecessor, in which you expressed your concerns regarding alleged geo-engineering in Victoria, British Columbia. Please accept my apology for the delay in replying.
The matter of geo-engineering would best be addressed by Environment Canada, and in this regard, I note that you provided the HonourableLeona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, with a copy of your correspondence for her consideration.
With regard to condensation trails from aircraft, please allow me to assure you that there is no evidence to support the theory of chemtrails. The long white trails often visible behind jets flying at high altitudes are known as condensation trails, contrails or vapour trails—not chemtrails. Despite their visibility, contrails are composed primarily of water and do not pose a hazard to human health.
Contrails form when the hot water vapour produced by jet engine exhaust operating at mid to high altitudes comes into contact with the much colder air present several miles above the Earth’s surface. This rapid change in temperature causes the water vapour to form ice crystals. Jet engine exhaust makes up only a small portion of the water that forms ice in contrails.
The appearance and duration of contrails depends on many factors, such as altitude, sunlight, temperature and humidity. Depending on atmospheric conditions, contrails may be visible for only a few seconds or minutes, or they may persist for many hours. Although they are almost always present behind aircraft, they are generally only visible from the ground when the sky is free of cloud cover. Contrails have become more common due to the increasing number of aircraft using Canada’s airspace.
Aircraft engines and aircraft fuel must meet stringent emissions standards, which are continually updated to ensure that aircraft manufacturers use the best available technologies to reduce adverse environmental effects. Transport Canada continues to work diligently with the International Civil Aviation Organization to minimize the effects of all aircraft engine emissions.
The types of jet fuel used in Canada, Jet A and Jet A-1 fuel, are kerosene-type fuels that are produced to a stringent standard that does not allow the use of barium. Further information on the national standard for Jet A and Jet A-1 fuel can be found on the website of the Canadian General Standards Board, which is the responsible authority, at
Some spraying, such as aerial spraying by farmers, is allowed under the Canadian Aviation Regulations for the dispersal of products for agricultural purposes. In order to operate aircraft for the purpose of aerial application in Canada, an Air Operator Certificate is required.
The Department makes every effort to ensure that all aspects of air operations, including aircraft emissions, are safe and comply with applicable legislation. If there was a contravention of the Regulations, the Department would not hesitate to take enforcement action.
Thank you for taking the time to share your views on this matter.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Transport
c.c. Office of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment, Minister for the Arctic Council and
Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
The Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Maxime Bernier, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture)
The Honourable Tony Clement, P.C., M.P.
President of the Treasury Board
The Honourable Julian Fantino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Veterans Affairs
The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.
Mr. Murray Rankin, M.P.