New aviation safety regulations for air traffic services



    OTTAWA, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced amendments to
the Canadian Aviation Regulations to increase accountability in the aviation
sector. The amendments build on the regulations that have been in place since
2005 for air operators.
    "A systematic, explicit and comprehensive process for managing safety
hazards adds an additional layer of safety to our aviation system," said
Minister Cannon. "Making the industry more accountable instills a positive
safety culture to help improve the safety performance of operators."
    These amendments require airports and organizations providing air traffic
services to implement safety management systems in their organizations and
appoint executives who are accountable for safety. These systems will make
organizations more accountable for day-to-day operations while allowing them
flexibility to determine the most effective means of improving safety
performance within the regulatory framework.
    Each system is based on an operator's in-depth knowledge of the company
and integrates safety into policies, management and employee practices, as
well as operating procedures throughout the organization. As each organization
integrates safety into daily operations, management and employees can
continuously work to identify and overcome potential hazards that could cause
accidents.
    Canada is among world leaders in safety management systems. The
amendments build on the work of leading safety experts and international
bodies and demonstrate the need for attention to aviation safety at an
organizational level. They also emphasize the importance of working with
industry to achieve a higher level of safety. These measures ensure that
problems, hazards, incidents and accidents will be reported, that the
associated risks will be analyzed and that appropriate action is taken.
    The first notice of these regulations was published in the Canada
Gazette, Part I on July 7, 2007. A  30-day consultation period followed,
during which Transport Canada took into account comments from stakeholders and
interested parties in the finalization of these regulations. The regulatory
changes will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on December 26, 2007.

    For more information on safety management systems, please visit the Civil
Aviation website at www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/SMS/menu.htm. A backgrounder
with further information is attached.


    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------

    SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

    In 1999, Transport Canada committed to the implementation of safety
management systems in aviation organizations. Safety management systems are
methods a company can use to integrate safety throughout its organization.
They are based on the operator's in-depth knowledge of its organization and
integrate safety into policies, management and employee practices and
procedures. As each organization integrates safety into daily operations,
management and employees can continuously work to identify and overcome
potential safety hazards.
    To be effective, these systems require strong commitment from all levels
of an organization, including senior management, to continually improve safety
standards.
    Until recently, safety was the responsibility of a safety officer who
reported to management but who was ultimately not accountable for safety
performance. Recent amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations require
aviation organizations to appoint executives who are accountable for safety
and implementing safety management systems. These executives must impose,
implement, lead and manage new policies and be directly accountable for the
safety performance of their operations.
    Transport Canada is always active at the operational level with audits
and inspections of actual activities as part of a comprehensive approach. With
safety management systems, the focus is at the systems level. This means that
inspectors assess the effectiveness of safety management systems within an
organization. Therefore, safety management systems add a layer of safety and
enhance the work Transport Canada continues to do through its oversight
program of inspections, audits, validations and assessments.
    Transport Canada continues to develop, implement, and enforce safety
standards and regulations under the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The
department has a comprehensive safety oversight program consisting of
certification, licensing, inspections, audits, validations, assessments,
education and awareness, as well as enforcement activities to monitor
compliance with Canadian safety regulations. Within this safety oversight
program, the department uses risk-threat analysis to adjust its priorities and
continuously refocuses its resources to protect the travelling public.
    Aviation organizations that have already begun implementing these systems
have had positive results. The broader implementation of safety management
systems by aviation organizations is part of an effort to reduce the already
low aircraft accident rate in Canada.
    For more information on safety management systems, please visit the Civil
Aviation website at www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/SMS/menu.htm.

    December 2007




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is
online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport 
Canada.; This news release may be made available in alternative formats  for
persons with visual disabilities.


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