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Date, 2010



Transport Canada decision will improve aviation safety


Ottawa – The decision to restore Transport Canada oversight of the business aviation sector is good for safety, according to the Canadian Federal Pilots Association, which represents federal Civil Aviation Inspectors.


Transport Minister Baird announced today that inspectors at Transport Canada will resume direct responsibility for licensing and oversight of aircraft operated by private businesses, a task that was delegated to an industry lobby group called the Canadian Business Aviation Association in 2003 as part of the shift to aviation Safety Management Systems or SMS.


“We applaud the Minister’s decision. It demonstrates that he is prepared to listen to safety concerns and act to address them. The Minister’s decision signals an end to the practice of delegating safety oversight,” said Captain Daniel Slunder, President of the CFPA.


This is the second occasion Minister Baird has changed Transport Canada’s SMS plans. In November last year, Transport Canada delayed the roll out of SMS to air taxi services and other small operators because of safety concerns among its inspection staff.


“Minister Baird and his senior management team at Transport Canada have shown an impressive commitment to safety, even if it means changing their SMS program. We continue to work with them to ensure Canadian travellers enjoy the highest levels of safety,” Captain Slunder said.


Aviation inspectors continue to have serious concerns about Transport Canada’s SMS and have called for a number of measures to address safety oversight weaknesses, especially when it comes to the major air carriers which has been operating under Transport Canada’s SMS since 2005.


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