For those of you new to the aviation industry and/or new to Canada, the following abbreviations are all commonly used in the aviation industry and you may come upon them in your day-to-day work:
CAR: Canadian Aviation Regulation, which is a law of Canada; MEL: Minimum Equipment List; RVSM: Reduced Vertical Separation Minima; SDR: Service Difficulty Report; SMS: Safety Management System(s); TC: Minister or “tower of darkness” or “the Tower” indicates Transport Canada headquarters in Ottawa; TC Holder: Type Certificate Holder/Owner
Below you will see that Italics denotes a quotation. I do this in some cases because of the large amount of material that I quote. Remember this as you read on.
Good day! Here we are again. Eight weeks older and wiser. We recently had some interesting happenings much to our delectation. There have been rays of light emanating from the tower of darkness (stirrings of life?). Admittedly, some of that light is infrared. There have been changes to the CARs in several areas. Together these amendments make some of the biggest changes to the regulations since the 1990s saw the demise of Air Regulations and Air Navigation Orders. These latest changes are mostly to do with flight crew licensing and privileges, flight rules, aircraft equipment requirements, commercial flight operations and corporate aviation operations. I have addressed the changes that relate to maintenance below in numerical order.
CAR 101 is Part I General Provisions, Subpart 1
— Interpretation. This is the CAR that defines words and terms used in the other CARs. The first two definitions listed below affect operations that carry relief flight crew on-board. The third definition will affect operators without formal flight dispatch operations, which includes most of the smaller operators.
“flight relief facility-bunk” means a bunk that meets the requirements of Aerospace Recommended Practice ARP4101/3, Crew Rest Facilities, published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and is configured in accordance with the requirements of section 3.2.9 of Aerospace Recommended Practice ARP4101, Flight Deck Layout and Facilities, published by the SAE.
“flight relief facility-seat” means a fully reclining seat that is separated and screened off from the passengers and flight deck, that is equipped with a call device, a restraint system designed to restrain a sleeping person and portable oxygen equipment, and that is not subject to distraction from noise generated in the cabin.
“pilot self-dispatch” means the responsibility of the pilot-in-command for all decisions respecting the operational flight plan and for the flight watch.
CAR 103.12 is Part I General Provisions, Subpart 3—Administration and Compliance. In this amendment, the definition regarding the “Principal” of aviation organisations now includes persons responsible for maintenance or quality control. It starts out:
103.12 For the purposes of paragraphs 6.71(1)(c) and 7.1(1)(c) of the Act, “principal” means
The significant parts here are the references to the Aeronautics Act, which states:
6.71 (1) The Minister may refuse to issue or to amend a Canadian aviation document on the grounds that
(c) the Minister considers that the public interest—which may include considering the aviation record of the applicant or of any principal of the applicant, as defined in regulations made under paragraph (3)(a)—warrants the refusal.
7.1 (1) If the Minister decides to suspend, cancel or refuse to renew a Canadian aviation document on the grounds that
(c) the Minister considers that the public interest—which may include considering the aviation record of the holder or of any principal of the holder, as defined in regulations made under paragraph 6.71(3)(a)—warrants it.
Together these laws of Canada mean that any person with an unsavoury aviation enforcement record or criminal record can be kept out of aviation management.
CAR 602 is PART VI—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES, Subpart 2—Operating and Flight Rules. The changes to this subpart are numerous regarding flight operations but now specifically refer to the new CAR 604 regarding private or corporate operations. This whole subpart warrants a review by all flight operations managers.
CAR 604 is Part VI Subpart 4—Private Operators. This subpart is a large document of about 50 pages and 24,000 words including many new aircraft maintenance requirements.
This is significant because there are about 300 Canadian private operators out there that previously were operating under a government order. This subpart is a harbinger of things to come in other areas including CAR 703, 704 and 705 operators. For that reason, you commercial operators ought to read on and become familiar with these changes.
Paragraphs 604.08 and 604.09 specify the duties and accountabilities including those of the maintenance manager.
Paragraph 604.56 addresses RVSM maintenance requirements mandating continued airworthiness compliance. That is referring to TC Holder manuals, advisories and other documents known as Instructions For Continued Airworthiness or ICA.
604 Division VII—Emergency Equipment starts at paragraph
604.116 and goes into detail including how and where this equipment must be stored. This kind of tasking usually needs the cooperation between maintenance and flight personnel.
604 Division VIII—Maintenance is very imposing and mandates some of the requirement found in CAR 706. It goes on to detail:
604.126 The maintenance manager is responsible and accountable for the maintenance control system.
604.127 A private operator shall have, in respect of its aircraft, a maintenance control system that includes . . .
This topical area goes on listing requirements, (a) to (k), including numerous procedures similar to those for commercial operators. The best way to address this is with a formal procedures manual. Well-written procedures provide employees with guidance regarding compliance with the CARs and the company way of doing things. These procedures can also provide management with up-to-date training materials, which have been approved by management. Procedures can be changed and approved by company management unlike manuals approved by TC.
Paragraph 604.128 (1) states No private operator shall authorize a person to perform maintenance or elementary work on any of its aircraft unless . . .
This area addresses the training and authorization requirements for personnel doing these tasks and the requirements for task completion.
Paragraph 604.129 Defect Reporting and Control Procedures states:
A private operator shall have procedures to ensure that . . .
This goes on addressing the reporting, recording and control of in-service aircraft defects. This involves the usage of journey logbooks, defect deferral procedures and MELs. Take care when writing these procedures because problems will occur if the maintenance and flight operations personnel are not using coordinated procedures that control, and show control of, in-service defects.
Paragraph 604.130 mandates SDR reporting. If you submit an SDR, keep a copy in a separate file available to auditors and TC.
The next paragraph 604.131 states, A private operator shall have procedures to ensure that
(a) it is aware of the aircraft service information that the holder of a design approval document produces in respect of the aeronautical products used by the private operator;
(b) the aircraft service information is assessed, and the results of the assessment are signed and dated by the maintenance manager and retained for six years; and
(c) the maintenance schedule or any other procedure is, if necessary, amended in response to the assessment.
This topical area is very interesting to me because I have long emphasized the need for my clients to perform and record these actions. You need to formally consider implementing the actions addressed in documents such as service bulletins and other service documents supplied by the TC Holder. You then need to make a record of your considerations and your decisions. Hand-written notes made directly on the service bulletin or other documents, signed and dated by maintenance and flight operations management, are simple ways to show compliance. Retain that record for six years or forever whichever you like. This area also addresses the need to amend any related approved maintenance schedule if it is affected.
Paragraph 604.141 regarding Operations Manager Qualifications and Responsibilities clearly delegates aspects of maintenance to the operations manager. It states,
(2) The operations manager is responsible for the operational control of the private operator’s operations and shall
(a) coordinate the activities that affect operational control, including activities relating to
Paragraphs 604.147 mandates icing training (ref. 604.181) and paragraph 604.148 mandates SMS training (ref. 604.183).
CAR 604 Division X—Training Program goes from paragraph 604.166 to paragraph 604.183 and is very detailed including the training requirements for maintenance and ground personnel. Paragraph 604.149 addresses training records that all managers need to be aware of to ensure compliance.
Paragraph 604.182(1) addresses training required for persons performing maintenance and elementary work and 604.(2) addresses training required for persons performing servicing. Paragraph 604.183 details SMS training.
CAR 604 Division XI—Operations Manual—General Requirement goes on with requirements that effect maintenance personnel as follows:
604.197 (1) A private operator shall have an operations manual that sets out the processes, practices and procedures applied in the course of its operations. The operations manual shall include a table of contents and shall deal with the following topics:
(a) the duties and responsibilities of all operational and maintenance personnel, and the hierarchy and chain of command within management;
(b) the organization and operation of the safety management system;
(c) personnel training and qualifications;
(d) record keeping;
(e) the organization and operation of the maintenance control system;
(h) procedures, if any, relating to minimum equipment lists;
(n) accident and incident response considerations;
Paragraphs 604.203 to 604.205 addressing the detailed requirements for an SMS may not be a significant change for some 604 operators because most already have some sort of SMS program in place. These paragraphs go into great detail and will likely require a significant re-write of most SMS manuals. I have, and will again, state my opinions regarding TC’s approach to SMS as I stated to Canadian government House of Commons Committee on Transportation as I detailed last issue. Paragraph 604.206 brings in new requirements for quality assurance programs similar to CAR 573 and CAR 706 but not in as much detail. Paragraphs 604.207 and 208 require that operators conduct independent reviews of the SMS program.
Moving on to CAR 605 changes, most of them are made to include the new CAR 604 requirements. In paragraph 605.04, the two references to “604.27” are changed to “604.37”.
In paragraph 605.10(1)(c) the reference to private operator certificate is changed to a special authorization issued under subsection 604.05(2). Paragraph 605.36(2)(b)(ii) now includes competency checks.
In CAR 605 Schedule I regarding recording requirements for journey logs, the heading references now includes reference to the new Paragraph 604.127(i).
In CAR 700.02 regarding Requirements for an Air Operator Certificate, a new subsection is added following subsection (4) as follows:
(5) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a person who does not hold an air operator certificate may operate an air transport service, or operate an aeroplane or helicopter to conduct aerial work involving the transport of passengers or goods, if . . .
It goes on to define the condition for this. To understand the impact of this we need to understand three definitions found in CAR 101 as follows:
“aerial work” means a commercial air service other than an air transport service or a flight training service;
“air transport service” means a commercial air service that is operated for the purpose of transporting persons, personal
belongings, baggage, goods or cargo in an aircraft between two points;
“flight training service” means a commercial air service that is operated for the purpose of conducting flight training;
Here I begin my tangential dissertation. Last issue I copied the entire text of the presentation I gave to the Canadian government Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. The purpose of those meetings was to answer questions posed by the Minister of Transport that include the effects of SMS on aviation safety. To date I have heard or seen no comment or result of those meetings but I will report to you if anything related does occur.
Since I am running out of space and time, I make this final note. TC’s own website information states that TC has about 5,200 staff in all the transportation modes with less than 1,200 people doing the actual front line work. In my mathematics, that’s about four bosses and support staff members for every inspector. I’ll have more to say on that and other related topics in our next issue. Please write a letter to our editor at AMU, suggesting topics to discuss. When you do write to us, you will become a member of a rare and endangered species. That’s all for now folks. Good day and take care.
Please be aware that I am not a lawyer or legal expert. What I write in my column is not legal advice or legal opinion. If you face a legal issue, you must get specific legal advice from a lawyer and preferably one with experience in the aviation matters in your own country/state.
About The Author
NORM CHALMERS worked with Transport Canada as an Airworthiness Inspector for 25 years. Before this, from 1967 to 1983, he worked in the aircraft maintenance industry in and around Western Canada and in the Arctic. His industry experience includes the operational maintenance of normal and commuter category aircraft and smaller transport category aircraft in the corporate sector as well as several years working in major repairs in the helicopter sector. As an Airworthiness Inspector, he has been responsible for most duties related to the position, including the approval of all aspects of maintenance, manufacturing, training, and responsibilities related to distribution organizations. Norm now operates Pacific Airworthiness Consulting; www.pacificairworthiness.caView all articles by Norm Chalmers.