TC's new flight and duty amendments will not affect helicopter industry: Jones

HAC
August 21, 2015 | Ottawa
By HAC
Editor's note: As supplied by HAC president/CEO Fred Jones in his HAC newsletter.

On August 8, Transport Canada published a “Notice of Intent to Amend” (NOI) the Flight and Duty Time Regulations (see below for the full text). The intended amendments affect only CAR 705 operators, so the Canadian helicopter industry will not be affected by these “intended” regulations however, Transport Canada has also declared their intenti on to follow up th e amendments to the CAR 705 regulations with proposed amendments affecting other segments of the commercial and business aviation community. The debate on this issue is not over, yet.

The NOI construct has rarely been used by Transport Canada however, it has been used with some regularity by other Federal Government departments. It appears to have been used in this context by the Minister to declare the intention to publish, without having to actually publish in the sensitive pre-election period. It is possible the NOI is being used to clear the air on this subject regarding the Minister’s intentions on this subject–to avoid any further pre-election backlash from the commercial and business aviation communities and the Coalition of Associations that oppose d the September 2014 Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA).

Following-on the Fall election, we are likely to have a new Minister, even if the Conservatives are re-elected, so it is unclear how quickly the Department will move on further amendments, post-election, but HAC and others will be urging the Department to revisit industry segment-specific solutions. If the Department is truly willing to consider industry segment-specific amendments , then they would have to consult in a meaningful way with HAC and others. Proposals from HAC and other Coalition Associations were ignored by Departmental staff until the eleventh-hour, when like-minded associations engaged in communications directly with senior Departmental staff and the Minister’s office.

A summary of the NOI’s elements — applicable only to CAR 705 operators, is set out below:

• Annual flight time limitations — The annual flight time limitation would be reduced to 1 000 hours in 365 days.
• Flight duty time (FDT) limitations — The daily flight time limit ation would be amended to introduce a range of FDT from 9 hours to 13 hours, which would be determined based on the start time of the flight duty and by the number of segments of the flight.
• Rest period — The minimum requirement for a rest period would be clarified in the CARs by modifying the current definition and by creating a new regulation in which a flight crew member would be afforded a period of 10 consecutive hours (for the purpose of obtaining the eight hours of sleep) plus travel time and time for meals and hygiene.
• Requirements for time free from duty — The current re quirement for time free from duty would be modified to 33 consecutive hours free in 168 consecutive hours in which the time fre e from duty would begin no later than 22:30 and end no earlier than 07:30 on the second subsequent morning.
• Fatigue Risk Management System — The proposed amendment would introduce the concept of a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS), to implement on a voluntary basis, and would outline the required components of an effective FRMS. Should an operator have an FRMS in place, the proposed regulatory amendment may allow the operator to move outside of the prescribed limits for FDT by extending the maximum FDT per flight schedule by one hour.

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