Section Two - Reviewing an Application

Regulatory Background

Section 602.26 of the CARs prohibits parachute descents from an aircraft in or into controlled airspace or air route; or over or into a built-up area or an open-air assembly of persons except in accordance with section 603.37 of the CARs.

Section 603.37 of the CARs allows the prohibition stated in section 602.26, if the person complies with the provisions of a Special Flight Operations Certificate - Parachuting.

Section 603.38 gives the requirement for an application to be submitted in the form and manner required by the Special Flight Operations Standards.

Sub-section 623.38(A) "Parachute Descents Over or Into a Built-up Area or Open-Air Assembly of Persons" of the Special Flight Operations Standards outlines the information that constitutes an application for the Special Flight Operations Certificate. An application form specific to this request has not been produced and is not planned. An applicant may submit the required information in any format he or she chooses.

Sub-section 623.38(C) "Parachute Descents Over or Into a Built-up Area or Open-Air Assembly of Persons" of the Special Flight Operations Standards states the minimum qualifications a parachutist must have to be eligible to make a demo-jump.

Sub-sections 623.38(D) and (E) "Parachute Descents Over or Into a Built-up Area or Open-Air Assembly of Persons" of the Special Flight Operations Standards state the minimum standards for parachute equipment and packing.

Sub-section 623.38(F) "Parachute Descents Over or Into a Built-up Area or Open-Air Assembly of Persons" of the Special Flight Operations Standards outlines the minimum standards a parachute landing area must meet.

Applicability

The staff instructions contained in this document apply to all applications made in accordance with section 603.38 of the CARs for a Special Flight Operations Certificate - Parachuting to conduct parachute descents over or into a built-up area or an open-air assembly of persons.

Procedures

All applications to conduct parachute descents over or into a built-up area or open-air assembly of persons must be reviewed to ensure the requirements of the CARs, the Special Flight Operations Standards and the procedures contained in this staff instruction are met and can be adhered to by an applicant. The Standards contain the minimum standards for the conduct of parachute descents over or into a built-up area or open-air assembly of persons. Determination of whether an application meets the minimum standards must be made by cross-reference to the reference material. The requirement for 10 days advance notice is intended to provide Transport Canada officials with sufficient time to review an application and supporting documentation and carry out the required co-ordination early to eliminate the need for last minute action by an applicant to meet requirements. It is not the intent of this staff instruction to direct regional staff not to process an application when an application is received with less than ten days notice. Should an application arrive at a regional office in less than the normal required timeframe but can be processed accurately and completely without straining existing resources and work schedules, the service should be provided with a reminder to the client that ten days notice will be required in future.

An application shall be reviewed as follows:

Application and Supporting Documentation

1.  The information that must be submitted to Transport Canada by an applicant is found in the Special Flight Operations Standards - Division III - Parachute Descents Over or Into a Built-up Area or Open-Air Assembly of Persons, Section 623.38(A)(1). It must be verified as complete or the applicant notified of any omissions as soon as possible.

2.  The following areas must be checked:

  1. Confirm all the parachutists have a valid CSPA EJR rating. Regional offices are sent a monthly update of the CSPA's EJR Rating Report directly from the CSPA. (weekly during summer months) It is recognised situations could arise when a jumper's name or renewal date is not on the list. The applicant shall be advised as soon as possible of any jumpers included on the application who are not on the list. In such cases the onus will be on the jumper to supply the regional office with proof that they do hold a valid EJR. When a jumper satisfies the conditions for initial issue or renewal of an EJR Rating, their CSPA membership card is reissued with the new expiry date of the rating indicated on of the card. Jumpers not on the latest EJR Rating Report will have to provide the regional office with a copy of this card, clearly identifying the jumper and the certification date, or a written declaration from the CSPA EJR Issuing Officer, stating the jumper has re-validated their EJR Rating.

  2. The site diagram must be reviewed to confirm the parachute area meets the stated requirements. Any omissions of information required to make this determination shall be brought to the applicant's attention as soon as possible.

3.  The local air traffic control agency, where applicable, shall be contacted and provided with the information they require to develop the conditions to be incorporated in the Special Flight Operations Certificate to enable the operation to take place safely. Generally, demo-jumps are made from relatively low altitudes (6,000 AGL and below), as freefall from high altitude is virtually invisible to persons on the ground. As such, the amount of time parachutists participating in a demo-jump are exposed to other airspace users is relatively short, and should be easier for ATS to accommodate.

4.  The regional Air Navigation Services and Airspace branch shall be contacted and provided with the information they require to take appropriate actions. These actions may include such things as the development of the conditions to be incorporated in the Special Flight Operations Certificate to enable the operation to take place safely. In the case of a demo-jump, this may only require the issuance of a NOTAM.

5.  In the event the decision is made to deny an application based on safety concerns, the applicant shall be notified in writing of the decision. The letter shall contain the regulatory references and explanation for the decision.

6.  For recording purposes, all information, documentation, correspondence (including records of telephone conversations) should be kept together and placed on the appropriate regional files.

Procedures for Parachute Competitions

Various parachute competitions take place throughout the year. They range from local drop zone activities, to the National Championships. During the winter months Para-Ski competitions take place. This is an event that jump wearing or carrying skis.) They attempt to land dead centre of a target, usually laid out on the side of hill, and once that is completed, they don skis and ski the slalom course.

Parachutists of various experience levels are allowed to compete, from novice to expert. Although the majority of these competitions are held solely for the purpose of competition and are attended by persons involved with the competitions, the public is usually notified and welcome to attend. Para-ski competitions, by their nature usually take place at public ski hills where the public may in attendence in large numbers use the ski facilities.

In cases such as these a parachutist is not required to hold a valid EJR Rating to participate in an organised parachute competition. The CSPA drop zone clearances applicable to the competing parachutists' level of experience are applied. (eg. for "A" and "B" rated jumpers the nearest obstacle may not be closer than 500 feet). Where the general public is invited or is in attendence for other non-related activities, the competition organizers shall ensure crowd control measures are in place to separate the landing area from persons non-essential to the competition taking place. The minimum distances used shall be those published in the current Canadian Sport Parachuting Association PIM - Part One. Competitions in which non-EJR rating holders are participating shall not be authorised over or into a built-up area. The standards pertaining to exiting over an assembly of persons and the minimum altitude of 100 feet over the assembly of persons shall apply.

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