Canada Takes Steps To Improve The Safety Of Air Navigation

Canada’s Transport Minister John Baird announced proposed amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations that will improve the marking and lighting of hazards to ensure the safe navigation of aircraft in Canada.

“Our government is committed to the safety and security of air travel and navigation,” said Baird. “These new amendments will make it easier for those responsible for hazards and obstacles to understand regulations, their responsibilities and the consequences that come with non-compliance.” The amendments will improve the Canadian Aviation Regulations by redefining which obstacles are subject to marking and lighting requirements (such as tall buildings or antennae towers), and by revising standards to reflect current technical advances.

The amendments also propose a new financial penalty for non-compliance.The proposed amendments have been pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, since June 5, 2010.

A 30-day comment period follows, when interested parties may provide their views to Transport Canada. After considering the comments received, Transport Canada will proceed to obtain final approval and publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II, when the regulations will be in force.

These proposed amendments would anchor the requirement to mark and light obstacles to air navigation in the regulation, removing the necessity to use ministerial orders, a slow process that results in lengthy exposure to unsafe situations.

The amendments would clarify the applicable scheme and provide stakeholders with consistent criteria.

The existing costs of marking and lighting obstacles would not increase as nearly all persons who have responsibility for or control over an obstacle to air navigation are already complying.

In many instances, costs would be lessened due to the introduction of new technologies now allowed by the standards (e.g. light-emitting diode [LED] lighting now allowed by the new standards results in lower maintenance cost because of its long lifetime).


A working group composed of government, aviation stakeholders (e.g. Air Line Pilots Association, Air Canada Pilots Association, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) and non-aviation stakeholders (e.g. Manitoba Hydro, Intersignal Aviation Obstruction Inc., Crouse-Hinds Airport Lighting Products, CBC Southern Ontario, Siemens Electric Ltd, Honeywell) was convened in September 2001 to revise section 601.19 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations and the attendant standards.

The group’s conclusions were presented at the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council General Operating and Flight Rules Technical Committee meeting held on Dec. 9, 2003.

The members of this technical committee, which includes representatives of government, aeronautical associations (Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, Air Transport Association of Canada, Air Line Pilots Association, Air Canada Pilot Association), and unions (e.g. Canadian Union of Public Employees), recommended these proposed amendments.

Civil Aviation Regulatory Affairs sent a letter to the affected aviation and non-aviation stakeholders on August 5, 2009, informing them of the Minister’s intention to move forward with this regulatory proposal.

The amendments can be found on the website of the Canada Gazette, Part I.