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PLANE TALK


INNOVATION IN CANADIAN AVIATION REGULATIONS


Innovation has taken place in Canadian aviation regulation over the last nearly 106 years. The first air regulations were


published in 1919 and were contained on one page. One of the main concerns then was things falling from aircraft. This could be pilots dropping notes attached to a brick or actual parts of the airplane falling off. The first World War had just ended so you can understand why dropping things from airplanes would cause public concern. As happens when an activity is regulated, the call soon goes out for more regulation. Before we knew it there were


regulations for pilot and technician licensing, followed by operating and maintenance rules and then aircraft design standards. Soon every area of aviation had some regulation. The formation of the Department of Transport in 1936 certainly sped up the generation of new rules. Why should this be a surprise? It was a department set up to regulate civil aviation. This trend continued for many years until around the 1970s when people began to speak of the regulatory burden. The additional regulations were seen as a barrier to progress. One of the efforts of the Department of Transport was to regulate the economic activities of air carriers. This became such a burden that by the 1970s economic deregulation became the norm. The practice of deregulation was never applied to the safety regulation. This was for some air carriers a disaster and for others an opportunity.


INNOVATION EXAMPLES Some would argue that the very design and implementation of regulations in the 1920s was an innovation which allowed a safe and profitable industry to emerge. I can argue that one as well but I wish to concentrate most of my points on the last part of the 20th century. The legal community had a


major role in regulatory innovation. For example, two important legal reviews of Canada’s aeronautics law and regulations took place in the 1980s and 1990s. The first was the Justice Dubin Royal Commission on Aviation Safety. Justice Dubin was asked to study the aviation safety system in Canada after a series of accidents and complaints that aviation law was not being followed. One trigger, among many, was a wing departing from a DC-3 which was found to be an NDT system failure involving maintenance. The second was the Dryden Accident inquiry led by Justice Moshansky. The crash of an F-28 due to contaminated wings was the critical issue which caused the formation of the Moshansky Commission. Out of that came the clean wing rules and a lot of emphasis on deicing policies and fluids. In addition, he made major recommendations across the entire civil aviation safety law and regulation. His work led to the current Canadian aviation regulations. Some of the innovations and steps


forward were created as a result of them. A short list is as follows. From the Dubin inquiry came the rewriting of the airworthiness regulations and


BY ROGER BEEBE


changes to the AME licensing system by adding the Category E avionics license. The creation of dedicated appeal tribunal also came from this work. In Transport Canada, how the civil aviation regulations were enforced was totally changed by the dedication of a separate enforcement division in both headquarters and the regions. This also ensured consistent application of the regulatory enforcement philosophy across airworthiness and operations. In this article I have reverted back to the old description of airworthiness being design, manufacturing and maintenance activities. Later innovation separated out maintenance and made it as important as operations which happened after the Dryden accident inquiry. Human factors also flowed from the Dryden inquiry. I consider this a major innovation as it brought the study of human behavior into the maintenance field of work. Rather than straight punitive actions after maintenance errors, we learned to look at what caused the person to act the way he/she did. This inquiry caused the operational side of civil aviation to rewrite the operational rules, which resulted in the Canadian aviation regulations of today. One must note that, in general, the CARs tried to follow the U.S. FARs as much as possible due to the integrated aviation system in North America. The NAFTA agreement solidified this trend as well. Some differences crept in due to special Canadian operational or political circumstances.


38 DOMmagazine.com | july 2017


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