Now halfway into its fifth year of operation as the world’s first fully privatized provider of air navigation services, Nav Canada today finds itself lauded by its clients and castigated by some of its employees.
Speaking at this year’s Canadian Business Aviation Association Convention in Montreal, ICAO president Dr. Assad Kotaite said, “The very constructive relationship that exists between ICAO and the International Business Aviation Council is based largely on our common objective of improving aviation safety.
The last few months have been difficult for a number of aviation players. First, there were several whistleblower complaints from FAA aviation safety inspectors who risked their futures to make serious allegations against their management in the southwest region. These allegations had been under investigation for some time when the U.S. Congress decided to hold hearings and have FAA senior management respond to them in a public forum.
Imagine the possibilities for improving the smoothness, costs and flexibility of obtaining and maintaining your corporate aircraft operational certification if the nation’s regulatory agency decided to hand over that approval process to a business aviation trade association. It’s hard to imagine the FAA doing this in the U.S, but it is exactly what Transport Canada has done.
State aviation directors across the country face myriad airport problems, including some that directly affect users, the future of airports and airport operations. Many directors simply come up with creative solutions.
With the forcible shutdown of Chicago Meigs Field fresh in their minds, several members of the House aviation subcommittee called to eliminate some of the security restrictions that have been imposed on general aviation as a result of 9/11 and continuing unspecified terrorist threats. And general aviation trade associations pleaded with the lawmakers to create a cohesive federal policy on airspace and airport shutdowns.
The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) is gaining momentum, president and CEO Rich Gage announced at the association’s annual general meeting in July. Gage reported that since the last meeting, membership has been increasing steadily, finances are strong, a new training program has been introduced and an internal integrated management system is being implemented.
After a Hendrick Motorsports King Air 200 crashed into Bull Mountain on Oct. 24, 2004, while attempting a missed approach at Martinsville/Blue Ridge Airport in Virginia, Nascar race team flight departments took a fresh look at the safety of their operations.
The regulatory role of the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) might expand into instrument and type ratings, as well as maintenance checks, following the Canadian government’s notice on November 22 of amendments to the country’s oversight rules for business aircraft operators. Effective Jan. 1, 2003, Transport Canada gave CBAA the authority to approve and monitor the country’s private operators.
Transport Canada increased the minimum visibility required before beginning an approach from the previous 1,200 feet to 1,600 feet, effective December 1. Transport Canada also amended the regulations to prohibit commercial operators, including air taxis, from beginning an approach under conditions in which a successful landing is unlikely.