Regulations and You

Regulations and You

Enforcement Approach in the New SMS World
by Franz Reinhardt, Director, Regulatory Services, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

As Transport Canada and the aviation industry set out to implement safety management systems (SMS), Civil Aviation must be proactive in developing a flexible enforcement approach to this evolving safety framework. The policy will provide a means of promoting voluntary compliance with regulatory requirements, without necessarily resorting to punitive action by Transport Canada. This can be done by providing certificate holders governed by an SMS the opportunity to determine, by themselves, proposed corrective measures to prevent the recurrence of a contravention, as well as the best course of action to help foster future compliance. However, intentional contraventions of the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) will still be investigated and may be subject to enforcement action.

When a certificate holder governed by an SMS allegedly commits a contravention that is not deliberate, specific review procedures will be used. These procedures will allow the Transport Canada manager responsible for the oversight of the certificate holder the opportunity to communicate with the SMS-governed organization. This will give the organization a reasonable amount of time to develop proposed corrective measures and an action plan that will adequately address the deficiencies that led to the contravention. The purpose of this approach is to nurture and sustain a safety culture, whereby employees can confidentially report safety deficiencies without fear of subsequent punitive action. The certificate holder’s management can then, without apportioning blame, and without fear of enforcement action, analyze the event and the organizational or human factors that may have led to it, in order to incorporate corrective measures that will best help prevent a recurrence.

Transport Canada, through the interaction of the manager responsible for the oversight of the certificate holder, will then evaluate the proposed corrective measures, or the systems currently in place to address the event. If these are considered appropriate, and are likely to prevent a recurrence and foster future compliance, the review of the alleged contravention will then be concluded with no enforcement action. In cases where either the corrective measures or the systems in place are considered inappropriate, Transport Canada will continue to interact with the certificate holder to find a satisfactory resolution that would prevent enforcement action. However, in cases where the organization refuses to address the event and provide effective corrective measures, Transport Canada will consider taking enforcement action or other administrative action regarding the certificate.

In order to support the implementation of SMS, Civil Aviation inspectors will continue to communicate openly with those certificate holders who are proactively engaging in SMS.

Transport Canada will not compromise safety, nor ignore any contraventions of the regulations, but will encourage the development of a safety culture as an essential element of the SMS framework.

Feedback on ASL 4/2006...

The last issue of the Aviation Safety Letter (ASL 4/2006) led to some interesting e-mails.

  • An error slipped into the answer key for the "2006-2007 Flight Crew Recency Requirements Self-Paced Study Program," published on page 38 of ASL 4/2006. The correct answer to question 1 is 30.14.
  • A reader commented on the answer to question 24 of the same questionnaire-the minimum advance notice of one hour to advise U.S. Customs when flying across the border. He commented that one hour is low, and some regional airports in the U.S. actually require two hours’ notice. Common sense should prevail, and we also recommend two hours or more. It would be best to verify with your first port of entry.
  • A few readers complained about the publication of a letter to the editor that criticized the crews of a CL-215 and an Astar helicopter for seemingly not monitoring the aerodrome traffic frequency (ATF) at the Lac La Biche airport, Alta. It was later discovered that, indeed, the facts were improperly reported, and there was no such lack of professionalism by either of these crews. The ASL apologizes to those involved.

Thank you to the many readers who contacted us. Your feedback is appreciated and very important to us. -Ed.

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