A unique Canadian programme, under which private operators of business aircraft are certificated by the country’s business aviation association, has been formally endorsed with regulatory changes by Transport Canada.

Canada is the only country to require private operators certificates (POC), and the regulatory changes complete a project begun in 1998 to transfer to the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) the administration of Canadian Aviation Regulations subpart 604, which governs the private operation of pressurised, turbine-powered passenger aircraft.

“We started issuing certificates three years ago in January,” says CBAA chief executive Rich Gage. “Now CBAA’s authority is embedded in regulation, which provides a platform to build other elements of regulatory stewardship,” he says. There are 220 POCs active, with operators of aircraft ranging from the single-turboprop Piper Meridian to Boeing 737s used to transport mining crews, the programme having experienced 20% growth over the last one to two years, he says.

A POC requires the operator to develop a safety management system that identifies its inherent operational risks, establishes procedures to mitigate those risks and continuously monitors performance. “They have to show how they will mitigate fatigue, for example,” says Gage. To obtain a certificate, operators must undergo a third-party audit by a CBAA-trained and -accredited auditor. For most operators, he says, the new process is cheaper than obtaining a certificate from Transport Canada.


Source: Flight International