Chapter 2 - Inspection

2.1 Routine Inspections

Routine inspections should normally be conducted before issuing or renewing a Canadian aviation document (CAD) in order to confirm compliance with applicable standards. These inspections involve the examination of aircraft, aeronautical products (appliances, parts, components, etc.), cargo, premises and facilities relating to aeronautics.

2.2 Inspection Authority

The Aeronautics Act authorizes the Minister of Transport to conduct inspections for the purpose of enforcing the Act. The delegation of authority document is used to authorize inspectors to carry out their respective inspection duties on behalf of the Minister.

2.2.1 Entry for Inspection

For the purpose of carrying out an inspection, inspectors shall not enter aircraft or premises without the owner, employee or other representative of the owner being present or giving consent. An inspector's authority to enter aircraft, aerodromes, facilities or premises to conduct inspections is found in paragraph 8.7(1)(a) of the Aeronautics Act. This is not only the authority to enter, but it is also deemed to be the authority for conducting an inspection.

2.2.2 Inspection

Inspection powers are derived from paragraph 8.7(1)(a) of the Aeronautics Act. Examples of other delegated authorities from the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) that facilitate inspection are listed below:

  1. Section 103.02(1): The owner or operator of an aircraft shall, on reasonable notice given by the Minister, make the aircraft available for inspection in accordance with the notice.
  2. Section 602.144(2): The Minister may authorize a person to give an interception signal or an instruction to land if such authorization is in the public interest and is not likely to affect aviation safety.

2.2.3 Production of Documents/Records

An inspector's authority to demand the production of documents or records is derived from section 103.02(2) and paragraph 103.04(b) of the CARs.

2.2.4 Obstruction

Any person wilfully obstructing or impeding an inspector during an inspection contravenes paragraph 7.3(1)(d) of the Aeronautics Act.

2.2.5 Warrant Required to Enter a Dwelling-house - Inspections

Where any place referred to in subsection 8.7(1) of the Aeronautics Act is a dwelling house, inspectors may not enter that dwelling house without the consent of the occupant except under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection 8.7(5) of the Aeronautics Act. This is a warrant for the purpose of carrying out duties under subsection 8.7(1) of the Aeronautics Act (inspections).

If entry has been refused or there are reasonable grounds to believe that entry will be refused, the inspector should contact the Regional Manager, Aviation Enforcement (RMAE), for assistance in obtaining a warrant to enter the dwelling house.

The warrant required to enter a dwelling house is not a search warrant as described in the Criminal Code (Refer to Chapter 6, section 6.11).

2.2.6 Use of Force

If entry to a dwelling house has been refused or there are reasonable grounds to believe that entry will be refused, the use of force may be authorized under subsection 8.7(5) of the Aeronautics Act. Under subsection 8.7(6) of the Aeronautics Act, force shall not be used without the presence of a peace officer and may only be used if specifically authorized in the warrant. The request for a warrant to enter with the use of force must be authorized by the RMAE. Any use of force shall be carried out by a peace officer-the inspector shall not use force.

2.2.7 Seizure of Evidence

For the purposes of inspection, paragraph 8.7(1)(c) of the Aeronautics Act gives inspectors the power to seize anything found in any place entered if they believe, on reasonable grounds, the item seized will afford evidence with respect to a contravention. Anything seized must have been found by the inspector without resorting to a search or must have been provided voluntarily by a representative of the premises or aircraft being inspected.

2.2.8 Return of Evidence-Inspections

Any items seized during an inspection are subject to the conditions stipulated under CAR 103.09, Preservation and Return of Evidence and CAR 103.10, Preservation and Return of Aircraft.

2.3 Urgent Action

An inspector must take action without delay when encountering a situation where there is a threat to aviation safety. Most inspectors are delegated the authority to exercise the following safety powers: detention of aircraft and suspension of CADs.

2.3.1 Detention

The authority for detention is found in paragraph 8.7(1)(d) of the Aeronautics Act. Inspectors may detain any aircraft they believe, on reasonable grounds, is unsafe or is likely to be operated in an unsafe manner, and they may take reasonable steps to ensure its continued detention. Once the grounds for detention (e.g., unsafe condition) have been removed, the aircraft must be released.

2.3.2 Suspension of CADs

The Minister may suspend a CAD on the grounds that an immediate threat to aviation safety exists or is likely to occur as a result of an act or thing having been, being or proposed to be done under the authority of the CAD. The authority for this type of suspension is found in section 7.1 of the Aeronautics Act. The appropriate functional authority must be consulted prior to suspending a CAD (for an air operator certificate (AOC), Commercial and Business Aviation; for an aircraft maintenance organization (AMO), Maintenance and Manufacturing; etc.). Reinstatement of a CAD is considered by the appropriate functional authority and is not an Enforcement matter.

Suspension of a CAD shall come into effect immediately and remain in effect until such time as the threat to aviation safety is removed.

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