Following the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's report
regarding a 2007 accident involving a private operator aircraft,
the Minister of Transport determined that the certification and
oversight of private operators were core responsibilities of
Transport Canada that should not be held by the private sector.
Accordingly, on May 30, 2014, the Minister announced new
regulatory amendments for the oversight of private air operators.
These amendments are all-encompassing, affecting requirements
regarding: registration; flight operations; personnel
requirements and training programs; emergency equipment;
maintenance; cabin safety; and safety management systems.
These amendments have been long anticipated, and since April 1,
2011, Transport Canada has certified private operators through the
means of interim orders and the issuance of Temporary Private
Operator Certificates (TPOC).
In addition to refocusing the responsibility for private
operators with Transport Canada, the new system is designed to
reduce the administrative burden on private operators.
Previously, the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA)
issued Private Operator Certificates (POC) to private operators,
and monitored their operations. The Canadian Aviation
Regulations required POC applicants to become members of the
CBAA, submit specific documents for review (e.g. operations
manuals), and undergo a successful pre-certification audit ($1,700
fee in 2010). Initial and recurring annual certification dues
were based on fleet composition. POC holders had to undergo
recurring safety audits every 1-3 years.
Under the new system, applicants are not expected to go through
a pre-certification audit, and would only have to provide tombstone
information to receive a Private Operator Registration Document.
Registration holders will have to undergo recurring
monitoring activities every 1-7 years, based upon their specific
risk indicators. These activities would include program
validation inspections, process inspections and assessments.
Registration and the recurring monitoring activities will not
create a fee, resulting in savings for current and future private
Private operators holding a valid TPOC will receive a Private
Operator Registration Document and information regarding their
monitoring activities schedule. They will be given 24 months
to adjust their operations so that they comply with the
For individuals or companies seeking to become private
operators, the details of the new registration process is expected
to be published by Transport Canada this Summer.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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