Regulatory File on the Extension of Validity Periods for Certain Medical Certificates

In the “Regulations and You” article published in issue4/2007, we mapped out the steps that a regulatory initiative has to follow before it can be incorporated into the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). In this article, we will explain the process followed by the regulatory file dealing with the extension of validity periods of medical certificates attached to private pilot licences (aeroplane and helicopter), balloon pilot licences, and gyroplane pilot permits.

On December7, 1944, Canada signed the Chicago Convention, committing to bring its regulations and standards in line with the standards proposed by the United Nations agency that later became the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Canadian standards regarding medical requirements associated with Canadian aviation documents for personnel are, therefore, based on the standards proposed in ICAO’s Annex 1.

When ICAO changed the validity periods of medical certificates required to obtain a licence, Canada wanted to harmonize its standards with those proposed. Thus, in 1998, the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC) Part IV Technical Committee commissioned a working group to study the possibility of reducing the frequency of medical examinations required for Canadian pilots to validate their licences and permits.

Following consultations held by the working group with, among others, Canadian aviation industry representatives, Civil Aviation doctors, and other medical experts, it was recommended that CARAC propose a regulatory modification that would increase the validity periods of medical certificates attached to private pilot licences (aeroplane and helicopter), balloon pilot licences, and gyroplane pilot permits, from 24months to 60months for pilots under the age of40, and from 12months to 24months for pilots age40 and over.

Notices of Proposed Amendment (NPA) were presented to the members of the CARAC Part IV Technical Committee on March28, 2000, and were approved by the members of the Civil Aviation Regulatory Committee (CARC) on April25, 2000.

The Part IV Technical Committee is made up of representatives of the government, pilot associations (e.g. the Air Line Pilots Association-Canada [ALPA]; the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association [COPA]; the Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada [UPAC]; the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association [AOPA]), unions (e.g. Teamsters Canada), airlines (e.g. Air Canada), and air transport associations (e.g. the Air Transport Association of Canada [ATAC]). CARC is made up of the Director General and various Civil Aviation directors.

On July 14, 2000, following the approval of the NPAs, the Director General of Civil Aviation at the time issued a ministerial exemption under subsection 5.9(2) of the Aeronautics Act to allow for a reduction in the frequency of medical examinations that validate the four documents concerned to periods similar to those proposed by ICAO.

The table below shows the validity periods for medical certificates attached to private pilot licences (aeroplane and helicopter), balloon pilot licences, and gyroplane pilot permits before and after the ministerial exemption, as well as ICAO’s proposed periods. Please note that the gyroplane pilot permit is a national document, and therefore, there is no equivalent ICAO proposal.

At the end of the summer, a triage, a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS)1 and the regulatory amendments were submitted to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) for approval and publishing in the Canada Gazette. Barring any unavoidable circumstances, this regulatory file should be closed soon.

Validity Periods (months) Canada (before the exemption) ICAO Canada (proposal)
Type of document Pilots under the age of40 Pilots age40 and over Pilots under the age of40 Pilots age40 and over Pilots under the age of40 Pilots age40 and over
Pilot Permit-Gyroplane 24 12 N/A N/A 60 24
Pilot Licence-Balloon 24 12 60 24 60 24
Private Pilot Licence-Aeroplane 24 12 60 24 60 24
Private Pilot Licence-Helicopter 24 12 60 24 60 24

Dangerous Goods in Transport: Reporting Requirements

by Roger Lessard, Inspector, Dangerous Goods Standards, Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 (TDGAct,1992) and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) provide the Canadian legislative environment for handling, offering for transport, transporting or importing dangerous goods. In Canada, anyone handling, offering for transport, or transporting dangerous goods must be trained or working under the direct supervision of a trained person, as stipulated in the TDGR Part6-Training.

Only a trained person may classify, select the means of containment, package, label, mark, and document a shipment of dangerous goods in compliance with the TDGR, therefore, mitigating the risks associated with dangerous goods in transport. In Canada, the consignor, also called the shipper, is responsible for the dangerous goods shipment from the time it is offered for transport until it reaches the consignee, referred to as the receiver. The consignor is also responsible for submitting an emergency response assistance plan (ERAP) for the most hazardous dangerous goods for approval before considering any transport activities, domestically or internationally. Under the TDGR, a person is also a consignor when requesting that a foreign entity ship dangerous goods or other dangerous articles or substances into Canada.

The air operator must also be trained to recognize, load, and secure dangerous goods according to Canadian standards; display the dangerous goods safety marks in compliance with TDGR Part4-Dangerous Goods Safety Marks; and report dangerous goods accidents/incidents in compliance with TDGR Part8-Accidental Release and Imminent Accidental Release Report Requirements.

The TDG Act, 1992 and TDGR adopt by reference other documents that can be used as an alternative way of complying with the regulations, as long as the TDGR requirements are met. This is the case for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Doc9284- Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TIs). Anyone handling, offering for transport, transporting, or importing dangerous goods by air must be trained to meet the TDGR requirements and the ICAO TIs provisions.

A person is an individual, a corporation, or any other entity carrying on a business, who has possession of dangerous goods for the purposes of transportation, or for the purposes of storing them in the course of transportation. A person must report accidental release or imminent accidental release found on an aircraft, at an aerodrome, or in an air cargo facility to CANUTEC (1-888-CANUTEC, toll-free, or 613-996-6666, collect calls accepted) and the nearest Transport Canada Regional Civil Aviation Office.

If the aerodrome is an airport, a report must also be made to the airport operator, in compliance with TDGR Part 8. A 0-day follow-up report must be made in writing to the Director General, Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate if an immediate report was required to be made on an accidental release.

The ICAO TIs Part7-Operator Responsibilities requires the air operator to report undeclared and misdeclared dangerous goods found on passenger or cargo-only aircraft. It also requires reporting of articles or substances that are dangerous goods not permitted in passenger carry-on or checked baggage under the ICAO TIs Part8-Provisions Concerning Passengers and Crew. What is a passenger? The definition is different between the TDG Act, 1992 and the Aeronautics Act. When dealing with dangerous goods, however, a passenger is defined in section 1.4 of the TDGR, and reads:

“(b) for a road vehicle, a railway vehicle or an aircraft, a person carried on board the means of transport but does not include

(i) a crew member,
(ii) a person who is accompanying dangerous goods or other cargo,
(iii) an operator, owner or charterer of the means of transport,
(iv) an employee of the operator, owner or charterer of the means of transport, who is acting in the course of employment, or
(v) a person carrying out inspection or investigation duties under an Act of Parliament or of a provincial legislature.”

The 1996 crash of a ValuJet aircraft into the Florida Everglades is an example of a reportable dangerous goods accident, which, by definition, results in fatal or serious injury to persons or major property damage. This particular accident was caused by the improper handling, offering for transport, or transporting of oxygen generators. Dangerous goods incidents or undeclared/misdeclared dangerous goods shipments are also reportable. A dangerous goods incident is an occurrence, other than a dangerous goods accident, associated with, and related to, the transport of dangerous goods by air, not necessarily occurring on board an aircraft, which results in injury to a person, property damage, fire, breakage, spillage, leakage of fluid or radiation, or other evidence that the integrity of the package has not been maintained. Any occurrence relating to the transport of dangerous goods that seriously jeopardizes an aircraft or its occupants is also deemed to be a dangerous goods incident.

The Dangerous Goods Standards Division of the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Directorate published Dangerous Goods Standards Notices No.2-Dangerous Goods Carried by Sports Teams; No.3-Hand, Body and Filming Equipment Warmers; No.12-Quick Lighting Charcoal Tablets; No.15-Dangerous Goods Carried by Passengers-Outdoor Activities; No.16-Dangerous Goods Carried in Toolboxes; No.17-Carriage of Ammunition on Board an Aircraft; No.19-First Aid Kits; and No.24-Individual Meal Packages, Flameless Ration Heater, and Self-Heating Beverages to inform the travelling public and air operators of targeted prohibited items in passenger carry-on or checked baggage. Such items must be reported to Transport Canada if they are found in passenger baggage or as undeclared shipments.

The Notices may be consulted at the following Web site:

The TDG Act, 1992 does not occupy the whole field of aviation safety. The Aeronautics Act, for instance, requires Canadian air operators to hold a valid air operator certificate (AOC). To obtain an AOC, the air operator must meet the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) and the Commercial Air Services Standards (CASS), such as submitting the procedures for the carriage of dangerous goods, with the corresponding training programs part of its company operations manual, including the reporting requirements, for review and approval by Transport Canada. As such, Transport Canada recently published Advisory Circular AC700-001-Procedures for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods to the Company Operations Manual to assist air operators in documenting such procedures. It is available on the following Web site:

The following is a list of phone numbers for Transport Canada Civil Aviation Regional Dangerous Goods Offices:

Prairie and Northern
Airline Inspection

Enforcement Case Study: Suspension Under Section7.21 of the Aeronautics Act

by Jean-François Mathieu, LL.B., Chief, Aviation Enforcement, Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

Peter awoke early one morning after a long tour in northern Quebec. He was troubled by a call from his wife the night before. She had just received a Notice of Suspension from Transport Canada, Aviation Enforcement. Peter’s commercial pilot licence-helicopter had been suspended for non-payment of a monetary penalty, and the suspension would remain in effect until the monetary penalty was paid in full.

Four months before, Peter had received a Notice of Monetary Penalty for contravening Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 602.101 because he had landed at a mandatory frequency (MF) aerodrome without communicating his intentions.

Peter had not fully appreciated that the clock had started ticking the moment he received the Notice of Monetary Penalty. Upon receipt of that Notice, Peter ignored the invitation for an informal meeting with the Regional Manager, Aviation Enforcement. Further, he did not file a request for a Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) review within 30days and was then, under the Aeronautics Act, deemed to have committed the contravention for which he was charged.

Peter was not aware that the Act addresses the matter of unpaid fines. Under section7.21 of the Act, a person’s Canadian aviation document, in this case Peter’s commercial pilot licence-helicopter, can be suspended for not paying an assessed monetary penalty. The suspension meant that Peter could not exercise the privileges of his licence.

On receipt of the Notice of Suspension for non-payment of a monetary penalty, Peter would be well advised to pay the amount of the penalty immediately. A failure to do so invokes the suspension of his licence and requires him to return his document. If Peter elects not to surrender his licence, he will expose himself to a further contravention of CAR103.03, and additional punitive enforcement action could be brought against him.

At this point, Peter understood that the matter was serious and that he should have dealt with it in a timely fashion. He then decided to immediately pay the fine and have the suspension lifted.

The Hazards Are Wild

by Bruce MacKinnon, Program Manager, Wildlife Control, Aerodrome and Air Navigation Standards, Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

No matter how much flight time you’ve logged as a pilot, chances are that you’re not among that small group of aviators who have experienced the shock of a bird strike firsthand. It’s more likely that you know of someone who has. And without a doubt, you’ve noticed hawks perched on runway markers, flocks of Canada geese taking flight from fields adjacent to runways, or even deer lurking in the woods on the edge of airport properties.

Key factors on the rise

Birds and other animals are a growing aviation hazard across Canada and around the world. In particular, goose and deer populations are skyrocketing in North America, and lands on and around airports are often attractive locations that offer food and protection for these species.

The animal population isn’t the only factor that is increasing; the number of aircraft operations is on the rise. As a result, the risk of collisions between aircraft and wildlife continues to grow-and the potential severity associated with such collisions is high.

More than 70percent of all bird strikes, and more than 65percent of strikes that cause substantial aircraft damage, occur below 500ft above ground level (AGL). Since aircraft at these altitudes are most likely to be at or near airports, Transport Canada’s recent efforts to reduce safety risks include Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR)302-Wildlife Planning and Management. In full force since December30, 2006, CAR302 requires most certified Canadian airports to develop, implement and maintain plans for the management of wildlife.

These plans are based on site-specific risk-a recognition that each airport faces unique wildlife challenges and must have the capacity to implement site-appropriate mitigation. Where risk is determined to be low, wildlife management intervention can be minimal. As the level of risk rises, so too must airport operators’ ongoing actions to minimize risk.

A few words about the words

The words risk and hazard are often used interchangeably, but in safety lingo there’s an important distinction between them. A hazard is a factor that may lead to risk. Put another way, risks arise from encounters with hazards. For example, a ring-billed gull is generally not a hazard and poses little risk. But in the airport environment, it is a potential hazard because the risk of striking aircraft exists. Flying in the path of a B727 on approach, the gull is a definite hazard at high risk of causing a strike.

The goal of an airport wildlife management plan is to keep risks to a minimum, primarily by identifying and countering resident hazards. This process of pinpointing hazards and measuring the risks they pose is called risk analysis.

Assessing the risks

A risk analysis is a crucial first step in the creation of an airport wildlife management plan-and mandatory under CAR302. Pilots should be aware of two key related points: first, risk analyses must include consultations with representative samples of airport users, such as flight schools, airlines and pilots. Second, airport operators cannot conduct thorough risk analyses without current wildlife strike data, which is made available through Transport Canada. This data is vital to national and international airport wildlife management efforts, and one of the most important tools in tracking wildlife trends and determining hazards at locations across Canada.

The data is compiled from wildlife strike reports submitted to Transport Canada. (More on reporting at the end of this article.) Under the new regulation, all airports must report all wildlife strikes to Transport Canada and keep records of these events. But anyone can file a wildlife strike report: airlines, ground crews and pilots. It’s one of the most valuable contributions you can make to the effort to reduce wildlife risks.

Be sure to report any knowledge of wildlife strikes-no matter how inconsequential the events may seem. Even information about a near miss can help authorities learn more about the presence of potentially hazardous species, and the nuances of encounters between aircraft and animals.

An important regulatory trigger

Unfortunately, estimates indicate that approximately 80percent of wildlife strikes go unreported in some jurisdictions-a statistic that points to a glaring loss of valuable knowledge and suggests a great deal more could be done to improve safety. CAR302 helps bridge this gap by requiring airport operators to amend their wildlife management plan and submit it to Transport Canada for review within 30days of a strike if a turbine-powered aircraft:

  • suffers damage as a result of a collision with wildlife other than a bird;
  • collides with more than one bird; or
  • ingests a bird through an engine.

For pilots, this is a compelling reason to file a wildlife strike report. In cases where CAR302.305(6)(b) is called into force, the process of review and amendment helps ensure wildlife management plans are as current as possible, addressing continual fluctuations in the wildlife hazards at airports.

During the fall of 2006, serious wildlife strikes triggered enforcement of CAR302.305(6)(b) at no less than four Canadian airports-including three of the country’s largest. Transport Canada inspectors have instructed these airport operators to revisit their wildlife management plans and address any shortcomings that may have contributed to the strikes.

The review-and-amendment process is also set in motion under CAR3 02.305(6)(c), when a variation in the presence of wildlife hazards is observed in an airport’s flight pattern or movement area. You can help mitigate risk by reporting to Transport Canada any significant changes in the numbers or behaviour of hazardous wildlife at airports you visit regularly.

Keeping you informed

Provisions of the new regulation also require airport operators to put in place effective communication and alerting procedures to quickly notify pilots of wildlife hazards. These communications may be provided through air traffic services (ATS), direct radio contact, broadcast of airport advisories, and UNICOM.

Collision Course

Building on the benefits of CAR302, Transport Canada is currently developing new training resources to help pilots gain a better appreciation of wildlife hazards. The Collision Course package will feature an introductory video that outlines the scope of the wildlife-hazard problem. An interactive CD-ROM will also be included, featuring many operational tips for avoiding and responding to wildlife strikes.

Collision Course is the first product of its kind-the result of a unique partnership between Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and clear acknowledgement that wildlife hazards are a crossborder concern.

Pilots are also encouraged to read Sharing the Skies: An Aviation Industry Guide to the Management of Wildlife Hazards. Chapter10 targets pilots directly, outlining their roles and responsibilities, flight-planning tips, and operating techniques for avoiding and responding to wildlife strikes.

What else can you do?

The aviation industry in Canada is increasingly undertaking the management of risk by incorporating safety management systems (SMS). Essentially, this approach holds that aviation safety can be best achieved through system-wide, non-punitive efforts in which all stakeholders contribute-whether they are pilots, ATS providers or ground personnel.

Pilots’ roles in SMS are defined in part by aviation regulations in both Canada and the U.S.-regulations that require you to familiarize yourself with all potential risks and to operate aircraft in a manner that minimizes the probability of wildlife strikes. From an operational point of view, pilots can meet this obligation through prudent flight planning. For instance, avoid flights over areas that are known to attract birds, such as wildlife sanctuaries, landfills, and shorelines. Aim to achieve cruise altitude as soon as possible, since the probability of bird strikes decreases dramatically above3000ftAGL. And remember that birds tend to be more active at dawn and dusk, and that risks peak during spring and fall migration periods.

If you encounter wildlife at an airport, notify ATS immediately and take appropriate steps to minimize the risk. For example, if you observe birds on the runway while taxiing, do not hesitate to take position and hold until the hazard is removed. Those birds may not occupy your flight path, but they could well stray directly into the path of another aircraft. In one of the worst bird strike accidents on record, 24lives were lost when an aircraft on takeoff flushed geese into the path of an E-3BAWACS at Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska.

Take the time to report

By conducting risk assessments, developing management plans and training staff, airports across Canada have been doing their part to address wildlife hazards and meet the requirements of CAR302. Pilots can take three simple steps to help accelerate this move to safer skies: raise your awareness of wildlife and the hazards they pose to aviation; learn what measures are in place at the airports you frequent; and take a few minutes to become familiar with the quick and easy-to-complete bird/wildlife strike report form (see below), and be sure to file a report in the event of any wildlife encounter.

Bird/wildlife strike report form

Hard copy forms (form number51-0272) are available in bulk from the Transport Canada Order Desk:

Web site:
Toll-free (NorthAmerica):
Local (Ottawa):

Bird/wildlife strike reports may be submitted online at:

Reports can also be made through a toll-free hotline: 1-888-282-BIRD.


An explanation of the regulatory process in which the triage and RIAS are defined and explained was published in the “Regulations and You” section of Aviation Safety Letter(ASL) 4/2007.

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