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PLANE TALK


The world was readily evolving into two major aviation regulatory systems, one based on the US FARs and one based on European rules.


After two years in the avionics section, I was moved out to help the large air carrier section, which is where most of my civilian experience lay. I was soon involved with FAA inspectors who came up to Toronto to do aircraft inspections and route checks. I found them to be well trained and experienced, and I learned a lot about FAA air carrier rules. I also met a few CAA inspectors and began to learn how things operated around the world. Most of my work was of course with the FAA, due to its proximity and the integration of the North American system. Our rules were inherited from the British so there was a lot of discussion needed to insure compatibility and compliance. This was before Canada became a much more legalistic society because of the introduction of our Charter of Rights. The world was readily evolving into two major aviation regulatory systems, one based on the US FARs and one based on European rules. Canada choose to follow the FARs. So, after the 1980’s a major effort was made to harmonize the Canadian regulations with American ones. This meant moving from the British heritage system to a Canadian version of the FARs. Although the numbering systems are different, and the code is written and titled somewhat differently the content is much the same.


CROSS-BORDER WORK Since Kitty Hawk, there have been vigorous cross-border exchanges of technology and personnel. The early Canadian aircraft developments closely followed progress in the USA. World War I saw a northward shift of both equipment and manufacturing. The USA entered the war in 1917 much later than Canada did in 1914 as part of the British Empire. This meant Americans came north to join the British flying operations and to help assemble, maintain and build aircraft in Canada. This northward trend continued in the twenties as aviation expanded across North America. This meant Canadians and Americans were exchanging ideas, information and traveling across the border to work. I reviewed many old files where aircraft were imported into Canada from the US with just a letter from the Canadian authority’s inspector. As the aviation industry developed this led to many meetings between government officials north and south of the line. We began to see the first air navigation agreements closely followed by technical agreements. I have no information directly from individuals involved as they are long departed this earth. However, the files do show a high level of respect and courtesy between the officials. Obviously, there was a high degree of respect flowing both ways. This activity continued during the nineteen thirties and was ramped up


during the Second World War. We all know the stories of Americans coming into Canada to join the Canadian militaries, especially the RCAF. Aircraft were flown to fields close to Canadian border and then towed across the line to avoid the US neutrality laws. After Pearl Harbor this ceased as the US was now in the war. The stupendous amount of airport construction undertaken across Canada and in Newfoundland by the US Army Corp of Engineers really laid the groundwork for all the northern air navigation system. One can only imagine the work between the Canadian Department of Transport and the FAA in those years. This cooperation carried on during the Cold War years during the building of the Distant Early Warning radar system and Pinetree Line radar system. ICAO was created in 1944 and its HQ was set in Montreal. Close cooperation between Canada and the US lead to more agreements. The working relationship was close and built on many personal relationships as well. By the nineteen fifties, there were many more agreements in place. As each country expanded its manufacturing base technical agreements became more important. It was realized early on that a lot of duplication was taking place as each country approved its products which then had to be reapproved in the other’s country. This could


46 DOMmagazine.com | dec 2017 | jan 2018


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