Aviation Safety Letter 2/2005

IPAT Success: Canada Airport Manoeuvring Surfaces (CAMS)

Following the release of their respective and comprehensive runway incursion studies in 2000 and 2001, Transport Canada (TC) and NAV CANADA joined forces to oversee the joint implementation of several aviation safety recommendations related to the prevention of runway incursions. Representatives from both organizations created the Incursion Prevention Action Team (IPAT), a working group that improved data collection, monitoring processes and trend analysis on runway incursions across the nation. IPAT also produced an extensive promotional campaign, which included a new video, several newsletter articles, regional awareness material and six new posters. One of the recommendations was to provide, at little or no cost, diagrams of airport manoeuvring surfaces to general aviation pilots.

VFR pilot groups overwhelmingly supported this recommendation and lobbied for its implementation. The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), in particular, was asking TC and NAV CANADA to facilitate the release of airport taxi diagrams to the Internet, free of charge, similar to such an initiative in the U.S., to help reduce runway incursions. COPA argued that most VFR pilots do not carry the Canada Air Pilot (CAP), and therefore do not have access to the detailed taxi diagrams that are in it. COPA also argued that the small aerodrome diagrams in the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS) are inadequate for accurate taxiing, and that it would not be reasonable to expect VFR pilots to purchase the CAP just to get the airport diagrams. Senior managers at TC and NAV CANADA agreed, and tasked IPAT to pursue the effort through the working group.

As a result, NAV CANADA, as the office responsible for the publication and distribution of aeronautical information, decided to make aerodrome diagrams readily available to general aviation pilots through their Web site. NAV CANADA will produce a new product titled Canada Airport Manoeuvring Surfaces (CAMS). CAMS will contain all aerodrome, taxi, low visibility and parking charts published in all volumes of the CAP. Charts will be listed by aerodrome in alphabetical order. For each aerodrome, charts will be listed in the same sequence used in the CAP. CAMS is expected to be available on the NAV CANADA Web site by mid-March 2005.

We believe that placing aerodrome diagrams in the hands of general aviation pilots is an enhancement to aviation safety and that it will mitigate some of the risks associated with runway incursions. This is in direct support of Flight 2005: "Promoting a shared commitment to enhancing aviation safety in Canada and internationally." Congratulations to NAV CANADA, in particular, for making this happen and for hosting CAMS on their Web site.

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