A specialist in aircraft investigations, air regulations and safety procedures, Ghislaine Richard holds a degree in Law from the University of Montreal and since 1981 a Master’s degree from the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University. As a senior researcher for the Institute of Air and Space Law, she contributed in the mid-1980’s to the revision of the Aeronautical Act and wrote many articles in the Annals of Air and Space Law («The DC-10 crash and the legality of SFAR 40», «Space activities and Emerging International Law», «KAL007: the legal fallout», «Air Transport Safety: Prevention and Sanctions», etc.).
In 1985, Ghislaine Richard was made Vice-Chair of the Civil Aviation Tribunal of Canada, the Federal authority in charge of settling legal disputes and procedural debates uncovered by provisions of the law. On December 14, 1990, Mrs Richard was appointed Chair of the Tribunal for a 5-year mandate.
Mrs Richard then joined the International Civil Aviation Organization, where from 1996 to 2001 she was the first woman to serve as Canada’s Official Representative on the ICAO Council.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Federal Government reacted by creating in 2002 the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). Mrs Richard was appointed Vice-Chair by the Minister of Transport, teaming up with Chairman Brian Fleming. A year later, CATSA was fully operational and had a 112 personnel in Ottawa as well as 13 regional managers. Mrs Richard remained at CATSA until retirement in 2004.
In the course of her prolific career, Mrs Richard had also been made President of the Quebec Air and Space Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. She co-founded and was President of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals. She is a founding member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Administrative Law and Practice. She was part of the International Aviation Women's Association, etc.
Recognized for her intellectual rigour, her respect of legal rules and her accute sense of responsability, Mrs Richard has always left the impression of being a caring person, extremely open-minded and ready to help.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame on November 13th 2008.