Guest Editorial

Upcoming Regulatory Initiatives

Martin J. Eley
Martin J. Eley

As a regulator, we’re continuously trying to advance aviation safety. Due to this, there is always work being done on regulatory files and Civil Aviation continues to look for ways to improve the rulemaking process. This is the goal of the CARAC Modernization Project, which is moving the rulemaking process towards enhanced efficiency through streamlining, reduced process burden, as well as early prioritization and focused analysis of issues. This modernized process has already been piloted on regulatory files, including proposed regulations for offshore helicopter operations, which was in response to an accident involving a Sikorsky S-92A helicopter.

Listed below you will find the regulatory initiatives that are expected to be submitted for publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I and Part II between now and the end of 2014.

Offshore Helicopter Operations
This proposed amendment would introduce regulations that would prohibit offshore helicopter operations when weather or water conditions make ditching in the water unsafe, require operators to carry emergency underwater breathing apparatus for each passenger onboard offshore flights, and require all crew members to wear a water immersion survival suit specifically designed for crew. This proposed amendment is in response to Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recommendations following the March 12, 2009, accident involving a Sikorsky S-92A helicopter which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean near Newfoundland.

Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL)
This amendment will introduce a new internationally recognized competency-based pilot licence, the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL). The MPL will permit holders to act as co-pilots for air carriers operating complex modern transport category aircraft. Currently, pilots wanting to work as co-pilot of transport category aircraft must get a specific commercial pilot licence and acquire extensive experience operating smaller multi-engine aircraft. MPL training is an innovative, structured and competency-based program specifically targeted towards developing the skills and knowledge required to become an airline co-pilot. An air carrier would be able to employ the holder of this new licence as a first-officer, second officer or a cruise-relief pilot with the assurance that the pilot had undergone the necessary training.

Private Operators - CAR 604
The proposed amendments would return full responsibility to Transport Canada for processing the registration of private operators and assessing continued compliance to standards. These amendments would include requirements regarding registration, flight operations (minima for takeoff, approaches and landings), personnel requirements and training programs, emergency equipment, maintenance requirements and safety management systems (SMS).

Vancouver Harbour Water Aerodrome, Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Harbour Water Aerodrome, Vancouver, British Columbia

Water Aerodromes
New subpart – 306 – sets out the minimum safety criteria required for a water aerodrome to be certified as a water airport. Highlighted in the proposed regulations are safety requirements at water airports and the responsibilities and obligations of water airport operators. These proposed regulations would be both performance based (e.g., level of service, times of operation) and prescriptive (e.g., physical characteristics of landing areas, dimensions of obstacle limitation surfaces).

In Closing
The Policy and Regulatory Services branch and the Standards branch of Civil Aviation work together to provide the best legislation and rulemaking process for Canada and Canadians, as well as promote aviation safety by ensuring compliance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations and the Aeronautics Act. These branches have been hard at work ensuring that the civil aviation regulatory initiatives mentioned above, and many others, move forward.


Martin J. Eley
Director General
Transport Canada Civil Aviation

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