Advisory Circulars

Commercial & Business Aviation


No. 0157


Company Aviation Safety Management Program


This Commercial & Business Aviation Advisory Circular (CBAAC) is intended to promote the benefits of a company aviation safety management program (CASMP) to Aerial Work, Air Taxi and Commuter operators.


The Safety of Air Taxi Operations (SATOPS) Final Report (TP 13158E) SATOPS Recommendation 29.


Concern about the large number of accidents in the Air Taxi industry motivated Transport Canada to initiate the SATOPS project. Relative to Airline and Commuter operations, Air Taxi aircraft are involved in the vast majority of accidents each year.

The Task Force's objective was to propose ways to improve the accident record by identifying the culture, attitudes, problems and safety practices in Air Taxi operations. SATOPS Recommendation 29 recommended that:

"Transport Canada promote the benefits of having a company safety program to Air Taxi operator management and review the requirement for Air Taxi operators to have a company safety program."

While Airline operators are required by regulation to have a safety program, there is no regulatory requirement for safety programs for Aerial Work, Air Taxi and Commuter operators. After review of SATOPS Recommendation 29, Transport Canada has decided not to extend the regulatory requirement to CARs 702, 703 and 704. Notwithstanding, Transport Canada believes that safety programs are beneficial for all operators.

Company management has to be convinced of the benefits of operating safely. Management's commitment to safe operating practices is essential to the long term viability of the industry. Companies must consider the economic cost of an accident when making decisions about whether or not to introduce a CASMP. Experience has also shown that effective CASMPs bring economic benefits to the company beyond pure accident prevention, through prevention of loss and/or damages throughout the company’s operation.


Transport Canada strongly encourages Aerial Work, Air Taxi and Commuter operators to develop a CASMP in order to enhance the safety of commercial air operations. Such a program should involve all aspects of the operation including facilities, maintenance, operations, human factors and the economic well being of the company. It is recommended that a company employee be assigned to be the focal point for such a program. This individual, who might assume the job on a part time basis, would report on his or her safety responsibilities directly to the CEO or owner of the business.

These responsibilities would include taking completed company designed Incident/Potentially Dangerous/Hazardous Situation forms that all employees would be encouraged to use, studying the matter covered, conducting whatever analysis might be necessary and making the appropriate recommendation(s) to the CEO or owner.

The elements of a complete CASMP should include:

  1. a company policy statement on safety;
  2. a safety officer;
  3. a safety committee;
  4. a reporting system;
  5. safety inspections and surveys;
  6. an accident prevention plan; and
  7. an emergency response plan (used in the event of an accident).


Operators should contact the Transport Canada Safety Services office in their region for assistance in developing a CASMP.

M.R. Preuss
Commercial & Business Aviation

Commercial & Business Aviation Advisory Circulars (CBAAC) are intended to provide information and guidance regarding operational matters. A CBAAC may describe an acceptable, but not the only, means of demonstrating compliance with existing regulations. CBAACs in and of themselves do not change, create any additional, authorize changes in, or permit deviations from regulatory requirements.

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