Guest Editorial

Nicole Girard
Nicole Girard

The “New” Policy and Regulatory Services Branch

I am pleased to be invited to communicate with you as the relatively new director of the Policy and Regulatory Services Branch in Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA). Not only am I a new director, but also in many ways this is a new Branch, built on the foundation of the former Regulatory Services Branch. As part of the Civil Aviation re-organization, the Aviation Enforcement Division moved to the Standards Branch; the Aviation Safety Analysis Division was transferred to this branch from the System Safety Branch; and a new division, Aviation Safety Policy, was established. These divisions joined the existing divisions: Regulatory Affairs, which administers the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC), and Advisory and Appeals (Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada [TATC]), which provides legal advice to Civil Aviation.

The specialists in this branch provide a variety of expertise to support Civil Aviation in regulating aviation activity in Canada. Since many readers are already familiar with the rulemaking and legal aspects, I will concentrate on the new additions to the Branch to illustrate the new ways we are able to serve you.

The key activities of the Aviation Safety Policy Division are:

  • Strategic visioning;
  • Policy planning;
  • Policy analysis;
  • Policy liaison and consultation;
  • Risk analysis and cost/benefit analysis;
  • Policy determination.

The purpose of engaging in these activities is to ensure that Civil Aviation’s direction is based on a solid understanding of the operational, economic, technological, and social conditions that affect aviation. This division gathers information on conditions, methods and techniques both internally and outside Transport Canada. Specialists sift through the details and provide senior management with the understanding they need to establish directions for managing safety risks to acceptable levels.

The Aviation Safety Policy Division works closely with the Aviation Safety Analysis Division.

The Aviation Safety Analysis Division’s key activities are:

  • Statistical analysis;
  • Occurrence response;
  • Human factors.

As previously mentioned, we believe that safety is achieved by managing risks to acceptable levels. The Aviation Safety Analysis Division identifies the hazards and conditions that can lead to loss or harm, and explains how these hazards lead to loss. Statistical analysts examine accident and incident data to give us a picture of the overall safety health of the system and find relationships related to the risks. They manage the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) and have access to several other Canadian and international databases.

Occurrence response specialists liaise with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) to quickly obtain information from ongoing accident and incident investigations. In the case of a Canadian-registered aircraft or a Canadian-manufactured product (aircraft, engine, etc.) involved in accidents that occur abroad, the TSB provides TCCA specialists access to the national authority investigating the accident.

It is often said that the majority of accidents result from human error. Such thinking is an oversimplification. To understand the human performance issues related to safety, human factors specialists use the latest in human behavioural science to understand how people interact with their environment, including the mission, equipment, weather, procedures training, and human capabilities and limitations.

The statisticians, occurrence response specialists, and human factors specialists work together with engineers, pilots, maintenance specialists and air traffic specialists to understand the hazards and processes that bring about loss. In this way, the Aviation Safety Analysis Division informs policy developers and TCCA management in decision-making.

We have a strong team and sound processes to help TCCA and the aviation community advance safety. If knowledge is power, this branch is prepared to make a big contribution to the knowledge and understanding we all need to maintain Canada’s excellent record and reputation for safe aviation.

Nicole Girard
Director, Policy and Regulatory Services

Vitorio Stana: 2010 Transport Canada Aviation Safety Award Recipient

Martin J. Eley, Director General, Civil Aviation(left) presents Vitorio Stana of AVcorp Industries Inc. (right) with the Transport Canada Aviation Safety Award at the National Aviation Day reception held at the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa.

Martin J. Eley, Director General, Civil Aviation(left) presents
Vitorio Stana of AVcorp Industries Inc. (right) with the
Transport Canada Aviation Safety Award at the
National Aviation Day reception held at the
Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa.

On February 23, 2010, the Canada Aviation Museum hosted a reception to celebrate National Aviation Day.

During the reception, Martin J. Eley, Director General of Civil Aviation, presented the Transport Canada Aviation Safety Award to Vitorio Stana, Director of Quality Assurance at Avcorp Industries Inc., to honour his commitment to excellence in aviation safety in Canada. Mr. Stana has played a key role in setting and maintaining the highest manufacturing safety standards for Avcorp’s aviation products destined for service in Canada and around the world.

Before an audience of industry and government leaders, Mr. Eley praised Mr. Stana’s contribution to safety. “This year’s honouree, Mr. Vitorio Stana, is one of the faces on the front line who personally works to make our industry safer. This is no small feat. On behalf of the men and women whose lives he has touched and the rest of us who reap the rewards of safer skies, I wanted to impart my sincere gratitude to Mr. Stana.”

In a statement earlier that day, John Baird, Canada’s Transport Minister, said “Mr. Stana’s commitment to aviation safety represents the gold standard to all who work in this industry, and his thoroughness and dedication can set a good example for the young people who will follow in his footsteps.”

The Transport Canada Aviation Safety Award recognizes persons, groups, companies, organizations, agencies or departments that have contributed, in an exceptional way, to aviation safety in Canada. Visit Aviation Safety Award to learn more about this prestigious award or to find out how to submit a nomination.

In 2009, February 23 was designated as National Aviation Day in Canada. This occasion highlights the federal government’s role in the safety and security of all Canadians, and celebrates the successes of the aviation industry in Canada.

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