At the CARAC table January joint Part V & VII meetings


The second week of January was a busy one at the Canadian Aviation Regulatory Advisory Council, with four days of meetings.

The first two days saw a Special Joint Technical Committee meeting for Part V Maintenance and Manufacturing (M&M), Part V Aircraft Certification and Part VII Commercial Air Service Operations (CASO). They were followed by two days of meetings on Part V M&M alone.

The first meeting was co-chaired by Transport Canada’s Don Sherritt, Director, Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing and Commercial and Business Aviation and Martin Ely, Director, Aircraft Certification.

This meeting was predominantly to deal with Notices of Proposed Amendments about airline twin engine operations on extended over-water flights – a subject that is of little or no interest to most private pilots. The meeting did however mark the introduction of rules to allow aircraft to use enhanced vision equipment to descend below IFR precision approach decision heights.

Enhanced vision equipment uses infrared, millimeter-wave radar or other similar devices to enable pilots to see the ground better in darkness as well as through cloud and precipitation. The enhanced outside picture is shown on a pilots Heads-Up Display (HUD), enabling the pilot to use this information to safely complete a landing in darkness or poor weather conditions.

The rules that were proposed catch the Canadian regulations up with the U.S. FAR 91.175 amendments that were introduced in January 2004, allowing the use of this equipment by pilots south of the border. The Canadian regulations were introduced on the basis that they were harmonizing Canadian rules with the existing U.S. rules.

The problem is the proposed CAR wording would only allow Canadian commercial operators and those flying under a private operator certificate issued by the Canadian Business Aviation Association to use this equipment – all other private aircraft owners are excluded. The reason given for this is Transport Canada (TC) thinks the equipment is too expensive to be found in small private aircraft.

COPA representative Adam Hunt pointed out the U.S. Government, through NASA and the FAA, has put a lot of money into making this technology accessible and affordable to small aircraft owners and that is why the U.S. FARs allows its use by them. Therefore, Canadian rules proposed are not harmonized with the FARs and in fact contradict what the FARs allows.

It is critical Canadian private owners be allowed to operate with the same advantages and safety equipment as U.S. private pilots and so the rule as presented is unacceptable to COPA. As a result COPA has submitted a written dissent against the proposed CAR asking that it be properly harmonized with the FAR, allowing the use of this equipment by private aircraft owners.

Because this proposed rule will actually be located in Part VI of the CARs it will be presented again at a CARAC Part VI Technical Committee meeting sometime in the near future.

COPA will ensure that our concerns are heard again at that time, if the proposed rule has not been amended to include private aircraft owners.

The Part V Technical Committee Meeting that was held on January 11 and 12 included several items of interest to personal aviation. This meeting was chaired by TC’s Don Sherritt.

First was the presentation of the Working Group Report on Recreational Aviation. As previously reported, this working group was formed in January 2006 to examine the future of non-certified aircraft in Canada and make recommendations to accommodate new categories of these, in a simpler administrative framework that would reduce bureaucracy.

Working Group co-chair and COPA staff member, Adam Hunt presented the working group report to the Technical Committee and answered questions.

In general the report was well received, although two associations who had members on the working group indicated they would file dissents against it.

The Canadian Federation of AME Associations (CFAMEA) indicated that they objected to the recommendation by the working group to stop the “Xing” of dataplates for aircraft, engines and propellers in the Owner-Maintenance Category.

The Recreational Aircraft Association (RAA) objected to allowing existing advanced ultralights to be given a Special Certificate of Airworthiness in the new category.

Both these associations were given 30 days to present their detailed objections in writing to TC.

The working group report now proceeds to the Civil Aviation Regulatory Committee (CARC) where the report will be considered along with any dissents. That body will then decide whether any or all parts of the working group report will be implemented.

After CARC the next steps will be for TC staff to conduct a formal risk assessment on the parts to be implemented and then to draft Notices of Proposed Amendments to the CARs to bring any changes to reality. These will be presented at future Technical Committee meetings, perhaps as early as 2008.

The complete text of the Working Group Final Report can be found on the COPA website in PDF format.

One other NPA presented at this meeting was of interest to COPA members. For many years COPA members have asked for changes to the rules for annual inspections so that they can be completed at any time during the month they are due and retain an expiry date of the end of the month, just like aviation medicals do. TC has decided this makes sense and have proposed amending CAR 625.789 to allow this.

COPA would like to congratulate TC for being responsive to aircraft owner’s needs in agreeing to change this rule. The COPA representative to Part V, Adam Hunt, asked TC if they could implement this change via an exemption so that aircraft owners can benefit from this change sooner than waiting for it to make its way into the CARs.

Meeting chairman Don Sherritt agreed that TC would take action on that request.