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Doesn't look like industry self regulation is going so well with CBAA....according to this story. The Auditor General Report comes out today.

 

 

 

Auditor general set to release review of troubling airline safety report TheRecord.com - CanadaWorld - Auditor general set to release review of troubling airline safety report

 

Bruce Campion-Smith

Record news services

 

OTTAWA

 

Allowing an industry lobby group to oversee the safety of business aircraft in Canada has created a system plagued with troubling holes, a federal review has found.

 

The Transport Canada review last year flagged shortcomings in the way the Canadian Business Aviation Association was running the program, including:

 

no procedures to cancel or suspend a private operator's certificate when problems are found.

 

no structured oversight of private operators.

 

no collection or analysis of safety data to ensure the program's effectiveness. Transport Canada's own inspectors questioned whether operators were being punished when safety violations were uncovered and even whether there was any oversight at all.

 

The review urged "procedures and policies to identify unsafe (certificate) holders and deal with them in a proactive fashion that does not require a major incident to occur before action is taken."

 

Today, Auditor General Sheila Fraser will present her own audit of Transport Canada's push to give large and small air carriers more responsibility for overseeing their own safety, a regime known as safety management system (SMS). Her audit will look at regular airlines and passenger safety.

 

Her decision to audit followed an investigative series by The Waterloo Region Record, the Toronto Star and The Hamilton Spectator on airline safety that documented numerous occasions where passenger safety was threatened.

 

The review was obtained under access to information legislation.

 

The business aviation community made the move to the new system in 2003.

 

The business aviation association was handed the task of safety oversight for business aircraft, a program that has grown to 325 businesses across Canada operating 460 turbine-powered aircraft that range from single-engine Pipers to airliner-sized jets used by companies to shuttle their employees.

 

The decision to let the Canadian Business Aviation Association oversee the safety of business aircraft "needs to be completely overhauled," said Greg Holbrook, national chair of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association.

 

The association includes in its ranks pilot inspectors at Transport Canada.

 

"It's the public that's going to pay for this experiment if it goes wrong," said Holbrook.

 

He blamed cost-cutting at Transport Canada for the move to offload aviation oversight.

 

"In the interests of saving costs and political expediency, they're taking a gamble with public safety," Holbrook said.

 

According to the review, Transport Canada demanded that the association take a more active role in its oversight function, and not just "take the word" of certificate holders.

 

That recommendation came after inspectors found that the association had granted a certificate when the operator had not implemented required safety steps and accepted training courses without proof about the qualifications of instructors or quality of training.

 

In April, 2007, Don Sherritt, director of Transport Canada's standards branch, urged getting the report to the association because of the problems that had been found.

 

"The sooner the better as we now have known regulatory non-compliance that needs to be addressed," he wrote in an e-mail.

 

The review found that five of eight elements related to aviation regulations were "deficient" yet still gave the association a passing grade.

 

The shift to let the business aircraft association -- an Ottawa-based lobbyist group that had advocated on behalf of the sector -- oversee safety is part of an ongoing change to let the aviation industry police itself.

 

Under the new regime, the association has been given broad authority to issue, suspend and cancel operating certificates for business aircraft operators, issue exemptions and conduct audits.

 

The findings of Transport Canada came less than a year before a business aircraft administered under the fledgling program plunged into an Alberta field, killing all five people on board.

 

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is continuing its probe of the March accident.

 

But the Piper PA-46 Malibu, a high-performance single-engine aircraft, owned by Edmonton-based A.D. Williams, had been part of the safety program overseen by the business association.

 

"They would have met the standards, they would have been through an audit process . . . and I do know that element was complete," said CBAA president Rich Gage.

 

"Clearly, we need to find the Holy Grail in complete safety oversight," he said.

 

Still, he said Transport Canada's findings aren't serious and said his association's oversight is helping ensure safety in the business aviation community, a program he called unique in the world.

 

He conceded the review's findings will fan critics of the new management program.

 

"There is ongoing debate as to what is the best way to manage risk," Gage said. "I think Transport Canada is on the right track . . . we lead the rest of the world."

 

That viewed was echoed yesterday by Transport Canada's Jennifer Taylor, director of national operations for civil aviation.

 

"We're not worried. This was the very first assessment," said Taylor, calling most of the findings "process-based.

 

"I'm really pleased with CBAA's reaction and their willingness to put the appropriate processes in place," she said.

 

But Holbrook suggested that the government's move to system management won't work without strong government oversight, something he said is missing from the Canadian example.

 

"The kinds of procedures that are followed now are a shadow of what they used to be and to say this is the same level of oversight is a misrepresentation of the facts," he said

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Rich Gage was at the Calgary CBAA chapter meeting last week and alluded to this becoming public - particulariy after the runway over-run of a corporate Global Express owned by a Canadian purveyor of coffee.

This write-off of a $40+million aircraft has generated some probing into CBAA's delegated authority and could turn into a possible "media event" by the CBC. It looks like it will be the first real test of their program. Stay tuned..............

 

GW

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Not really as the correct definition is delegated authority. CBAA only deals with 604 operators, checking their operation and mainly streamlining the entire process for new operators to get an OC. Since they took this part from TC most of the 604 operators have been happy with the results as it has been quicker to resolve issues then when dealing with TC. Don't forget however, TC is still in the loop as the regulator with oversight.

Also the 604 guys are the corporate guys and in 99% of the cases are the creme de la creme of aviation with large budgets, new aircraft and no pressure to compete with the other 604 operators.

 

Now, if the helicopter industry wanted to go the delegated authority route.....You will have to read the next issue of Vertical to find out where that process is headed.. (Shameless self-promo emoticon inserted here) :lol:

 

 

GW

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