Civil Aviation Safety Alerts (CASA) No. 2018-09

Attention:

Subpart 703, 704 and 705 Operators of the Canadian Aviation Regulations

File Classification No.: 5000-35
RDIMS No.: 14486368
Document No.: CASA 2018-09
Issue No.: 01
Effective Date: 2018-11-01

The Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) and Aircraft Tracking

Purpose:

The purpose of this Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is to:

  1. Alert air operators of aircraft of new tracking requirements issued under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), Annex 6 – Operation of Aircraft, Part I – International Commercial Air Transport – Aeroplanes, Section 3.5, which will be coming into force on November 8, 2018.
  2. Provide information about standards, practices and procedures acceptable to Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) to support Canadian air operators in implementing aircraft tracking policies.
  3. Provide appropriate Recommended Actions to all commercial air operators that will assist them to be aligned with the ICAO SARPs.

Background:

Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS)

In March 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) established the Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System, (GADSS) and published Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in an effort to improve global aircraft flight tracking and search and rescue (SAR).

The SARPs define aircraft tracking provisions including operator performance requirements for normal tracking and distress tracking capabilities, and operator data retention requirements.

The three main functions of the GADSS are to enhance or enable:

  • Aircraft Tracking (AT);
  • Autonomous Distress Tracking (ADT); and
  • Post Flight Localization and Recovery (PFLR).

This CASA focuses on the AT component of GADSS; long term elements such as ADT and PFLR will be addressed in future guidance.

AT, as one of the key components of the GADSS, provides the timely identification and location of an aircraft. One objective of the SARPs is to set an automated four-dimensional (4D - latitude, longitude, altitude, time) position reporting interval of 15 minutes or less (recommended in all areas of operation and required in oceanic areas).

The SARPs provide provisions for air operators to track aircraft for which they are responsible. These include:

The operator shall establish an aircraft tracking capability to track aeroplanes throughout its area of operations.
(Annex 6, Part I, 3.5.1)

The operator should track the position of an aeroplane through automated reporting at least every 15 minutes for the portion(s) of the in-flight operation(s) under the following conditions:

  • a) the aeroplane has a maximum certificated take-off mass of over 27 000* kg and a seating capacity greater than 19; and
  • b) where an Air Traffic Services (ATS) unit obtains aeroplane position information at greater than 15 minute intervals.

*59 400 lbs.
(Annex 6, Part I, 3.5.2)

The operator shall track the position of an aeroplane through automated reporting at least every 15 minutes for the portion(s) of the in-flight operation(s) that is planned in an oceanic area(s) under the following conditions:

  • a) the aeroplane has a maximum certificated take-off mass of over 45 500 kg** and a seating capacity greater than 19; and
  • b) where an ATS unit obtains aeroplane position information at greater than 15 minute intervals.

**100 100 lbs. (Annex 6, Part I, 3.5.3)

Notwithstanding the provisions in 3.5.2 and 3.5.3, the State of the operator may, based on the results of an approved risk assessment process implemented by the operator, allow for variations to automated reporting intervals. The process shall demonstrate how risks to the operation resulting from such variations can be managed and shall include at least the following:

  • a) capability of the operator’s operational control systems and processes, including those for contacting ATS units;
  • b) overall capability of the aeroplane and its systems;
  • c) available means to determine the position of, and communicate with, the aeroplane;
  • d) frequency and duration of gaps in automated reporting;
  • e) human factors consequences resulting from changes to flight crew procedures; and
  • f) specific mitigation measures and contingency procedures.

(Annex 6, Part I, 3.5.4)

The operator shall establish procedures, approved by the State of the Operator, for the retention of aircraft tracking data to assist SAR in determining the last known position of the aircraft.

(Annex 6, Part I, 3.5.5)

A flight operations officer/flight dispatcher in conjunction with a method of control and supervision of flight operations in accordance with 4.2.1.3 shall:

notify the appropriate ATS unit when the position of the aeroplane cannot be determined by an aircraft tracking capability, and attempts to establish communication are unsuccessful.

(Annex 6, Part I, 4.6.1(d))

Recommended action:

Transport Canada recommends all air operators familiarize themselves with ICAO Circular 347 – Aircraft Tracking Implementation Guidelines For Operators and Civil Aviation Authorities. This includes the following components of Circular 347, but is not limited to:

  1. Establishment of an aircraft tracking policy;
  2. Addressing ground based and airborne tracking requirements and capabilities;
  3. Establishment and documentation of all applicable policies, processes and procedures, including policies and procedures for third parties that perform aircraft tracking activities on the operator’s behalf;
  4. Allocation of appropriate resources;
  5. Establishment of appropriate tasking of operational personnel; and
  6. Training of all applicable personnel.

Furthermore, it is recommended that air operators conduct a route analysis to determine which will be reliant on either 4D/15 Tracking or 4D/15 Service. Areas absent of 4D/15 Service require the operator to achieve the tracking of aircraft. Therefore operators should develop procedures and/or policies which:

  1. Identify the duties, tasks and actions necessary to track a specific flight;
  2. Ensure the duties, tasks and actions related to the tracking of each flight are assigned to the appropriate personnel;
  3. Ensure planned routes are reviewed to determine whether or not a 4D/15 Service is available along an intended route;
  4. Ensure aircraft equipage matches the 4D/15 Service in use;
  5. Identify the areas, routes or route segments when 4D/15 Tracking is required; and
  6. Implement appropriate mitigating measures for areas or routes where 4D/15 Service and 4D/15 Tracking are not available due to operational constraints.

Transport Canada position

Canadian air operators are reminded that they are subject to the laws and regulations of foreign jurisdictions and their respective civil aviation authorities (CAA) when abroad. Effective November 8, 2018, they may be subject to regulatory action by a CAA if they do not comply with ICAO GADSS SARPs requirements.

Transport Canada will continue to provide appropriate guidance until the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) are amended.

Acronyms and Abbreviations:

The following abbreviations are used in this document:

  • a) 4D Four-dimensional;
  • b) AT Aircraft Tracking;
  • c) ADT Autonomous Distress Tracking;
  • d) CARs Canadian Aviation Regulations;
  • e) GADSS Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System;
  • f) ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization;
  • g) PFLR Post Flight Localization and Recovery;
  • h) SAR Search and rescue;
  • i) SARPs Standards and Recommended Practices.

The following abbreviations are used in this document:

  • j) 4D/15 service. In the provision of air traffic services an ATS unit receives four-dimensional (latitude, longitude, altitude, time) position information at 15-minute intervals or less from suitably equipped aircraft.
  • k) 4D/15 tracking. The operator obtains four-dimensional (latitude, longitude, altitude, time) aircraft position information at 15 minute intervals or less.
  • l) Air traffic service (ATS). A generic term meaning variously, flight information service, alerting service, air traffic advisory service, air traffic control service (area control service, approach control service or aerodrome control service).

ICAO documents

Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing

Annex 6 — Operation of Aircraft, Part I — International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes.

Annex 11 — Air Traffic Services.

Annex 15 — Aeronautical Information Services.

Annex 19 — Safety Management.

Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) – Concept of Operations – Version 5.12 Draft.

Training Manual, Part D-3 — Flight Operations Officers/Flight Dispatchers (Doc 7192).

Manual of Procedures for Operations Inspection, Certification and Continued Surveillance (Doc 8335).

Safety Management Manual (SMM) (Doc 9859).

ICAO Circular 347 – Aircraft Tracking Implementation Guidelines For Operators and Civil Aviation Authorities.

Contact office:

For more information concerning this issue, contact Mr. Yvan Chabot, Flight Technical Engineer, Flight Technical and Operator Certification, Commercial Flight Standards, in Ottawa, by telephone at 613-990-1065, or by e-mail at yvan.chabot@tc.gc.ca.

Original signed by

Jeff Phipps for
Robert Sincennes
Director
Standards Branch

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.

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