Chapter 4 - Detection

4.1 Introduction

A detection is the discovery of a possible violation of the Aeronautics Act or the CARs. Sources of detection are diverse and may result from activities such as inspections, audits, and surveillance programs. Sources of detection also include the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) (Refer to TP 4044, CADORS Manual), police reports, and public complaints.

4.2 Initial Enforcement Process

A Transport Canada inspector must take action on observing or being apprised of a contravention. All inspectors are responsible for completing a Detection Notice Form and forwarding it without delay to the RMAE. The inspector or his or her manager may address immediate operational considerations through the exercise of functional or safety powers under sections 7.1, or 8.7 or subsection 7(1) of the Aeronautics Act.

If the contravention is considered minor, the inspector may simply orally counsel the CAD holder. If the contravention is of a more serious nature, the inspector must immediately refer the incident to the appropriate RMAE along with any notes or evidence, such as photographs, logs, and tapes. The decision to conclude the incident with oral counselling or to refer the matter to Enforcement for further investigation is entirely at the discretion of the inspector. Even when the matter does not require further action, as in the case of oral counselling, the detection notice must be forwarded to the RMAE.

Upon receipt of a detection notice, the RMAE will determine if an investigation should be conducted.

4.3 Oral Counselling

Oral counselling provides the CAD holder with immediate guidance on the need for future compliance. It is an option for inspectors when the imposition of a sanction is not considered necessary and when all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. the contravention is minor and inadvertent;
  2. there is no direct flight safety hazard even though the violation is safety-related; and
  3. the CAD holder has no record of a similar type of violation and has a compliant attitude.

Oral counselling is not an option when the alleged offender disputes the allegation.

This type of deterrent action does not become a part of the CAD holder's record. However, a completed copy of the detection notice is required to maintain statistical records. After a statistical record has been made, all copies of the detection notice shall be destroyed in accordance with Departmental records' management policy. Oral counselling shall not be recorded in the Enforcement Management System (EMS) in cases where no comprehensive investigation is conducted.

4.4 Contraventions of Dangerous Goods Regulations

All Transport Canada aviation inspectors are responsible for promoting compliance with and detecting contraventions of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. All inspectors, upon detection or receipt of a reported violation, shall immediately apprise a Regional Dangerous Goods inspector of the situation.

Dangerous Goods inspectors are responsible for investigating infractions of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. An Aviation Enforcement inspector may participate in a dangerous goods investigation at the request of a Dangerous Goods inspector and with the concurrence of the RMAE.

4.5 Inspectors Flying as Passengers

If inspectors detect a contravention while they are flying as passengers on an airline and they judge that it must be brought to the attention of the flight crew, they shall contact the pilot-in-command after the flight has terminated. A detection notice shall be forwarded without delay to the appropriate RMAE.

The policy of post-flight notification does not apply where the contravention compromises aviation safety. An example of this would be contravention of CAR 602.11(2), which forbids any person from conducting or attempting to conduct a takeoff in an aircraft that has frost, ice or snow adhering to any of its critical surfaces. In such a case, the inspector shall take direct and immediate action.

4.6 Inspector’s Liability and Off-duty Action

The liability of inspectors both on- and off-duty is addressed in pamphlet TP 11825, Liability Through the Exercise of Delegated Authority.

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