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have been detailed work or just cursory overview but still was time consuming and expensive. In addition to technical and operational issues there was always the legal and sovereignty matters to deal with. Canada tends to regulate behavior by detailed regulations while the US tends to rely somewhat more on regulations and lawsuits, which means that the legalities are much more important in some respects. This is a simplification, but something to note when arranging agreements. Bilateral talks led to agreements on pilot licensing, aircraft certification and export. The USA, being so much larger than Canada in the aviation world, had embarked on worldwide system of regulation, whereas Canada had relied on a more bilateral system basically backed up by the regulatory remains of the British Empire system. In some countries a letter would suffice to accept products, but not among the developed countries with a large aviation trade. Later, bilateral work would take place between Canada, Europe and many other countries.


In the sixties and seventies Canada


embarked on vigorous growth in its aircraft certification system especially after the DC-8 accident in Toronto due to inadvertent spoiler activation on landing. This led to design differences between the Canadian and American systems which were the subject of much discussion into the eighties. The European aircraft manufacturing industry now expanded as well, and the JARs were born. This together with Russia (Soviet Union) and China developing civil aircraft industries really drove the international work at all levels. It soon become apparent that two worldwide systems had been developed and were in competition; the European and the American. Eventually Russia and China basically followed the US system.


TOGETHER WITH FAA The worldwide integration of civil aviation design, manufacturing and operations and maintenance soon brought the major aviation nations together working on detailed bilateral agreements. These agreements fell under general ICAO standards, but they left much of the details to the individual countries. Add in public sensitivities over national sovereignty and legal issues and you can soon see why nation-to-nation understandings and agreements were needed. That set the scene for some of the work I was involved in around the world, but I will deal only with the FAA work in this writeup. Before I became heavily involved in the bilateral discussions with the FAA I had attended many conferences and participated on joint FAA/Transport Canada panels. The knowledge and professionalism of my FAA counterparts always impressed me. I recall one conference where American industry was heavily criticizing the FAA over some minor changes to rules. I had seen by then how difficult it was to make even minor changes if any industry lobby group opposed them. It was much easier in Canada to change things. After listening to this for a while I spoke up and said if the FAA was doing so badly maybe we should not have any bilateral agreements. That shocked people and the tone changed to a more positive discussion. Canada is a huge export market for US aviation products and the US industry knew that. Fortunately, politicians generally let technical experts deal with such things, or I might have been in trouble politically. I later participated in frequent trips


to FAA HQ in Washington as the bilateral talks got underway. There were some agreements in effect, but they were old and outdated. Our job was to modernize them. Since I was responsible for manufacturing,


maintenance and AME licensing I got to work with both the FAA Engineering and Manufacturing Directorate and with the Flight Operations and Maintenance Directorate as well. The meetings were long and tiring but eventually agreements were reached. Before any agreements could go forward we each had to become familiar with the other country’s systems in detail and then check it all out by site visits. I was able to host several FAA staff visits to Canadian facilities and of course, the reverse happened as well. It was a wonderful experience to work with so many talented folks from both sides of the border. Eventually the draft agreements went to the respective state departments and were made truly official as nation to nation agreements. They exist to this day. Of course, amendments have been made from time to time since then and technical cross-border work continues. Because of the confidence the FAA has in the Canadian system we are perhaps the only country without US approved repair stations as we accept each other’s approvals made under the agreements. Later, during the NAFTA trade negotiations we added Mexico to our North American harmonization work. A common understanding of all three systems was needed to move forward on the aviation sector of the agreement. This was accomplished but others can better tell that story as I had moved from Ottawa before much work was done with Mexico Another type of on-going, almost


daily work takes place between FAA regions and Transport Canada regions. This involves discussing importation and exportation issues as well as just general information sharing. Cross- border trade is made much easier if the local offices know the individual region’s inspectors along the line. While I was in the Ontario Region we worked across the border with


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