The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) has called on Transport Canada to revise its recently announced recommendations for the implementation timeline of new flight- and duty-time regulations to no more than one year for all professional pilots in Canada.
ALPA expressed concerns after the country’s transportation regulatory agency announced long-overdue regulations on managing flight crew fatigue, but issued differing timelines, as long as four years, for final implementation of the new rules depending on airline operations.
“Updating flight time/duty time and minimum rest requirements has been one of the most important aviation safety initiatives for flight crews in Canada, and these new rules are long overdue. We are thankful to Transport Canada for acting on this vital step forward for aviation safety, but it is crucial that there be a single, timely implementation process for all Canadian carriers,” said Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA Canada board president.
Transport Canada convened a working group in August 2010 to review and propose amendments to the regulations related to managing flight crew fatigue. In 2012, a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) was issued, but never advanced. ALPA has been urging Transport Canada to revisit concerns surrounding the NPA and, earlier today, the agency announced its intent to publish the recommendations in Canada Gazette I in the Spring of 2017.
“It has been nearly six years since a working group was established to begin the process of bringing Canada’s flight- and duty-time regulations in line with science-based fatigue knowledge. During that time, other countries around the world have made significant advancements towards international harmonization. We cannot continue to let Canada fall behind. When it comes to fatigue, a pilot is a pilot regardless of the size of aircraft they fly and all safety regulations should follow suit,” added Capt. Adamus.
The current recommendations provide guidance for Part 705 carriers to implement new flight- and duty-time regulations within one year after publication in Gazette II in the Fall of 2017. However, for other commercial air carriers classified in Parts 704 and 703, operators will have up to four years after publication in Gazette II for final implementation.
“Giving these operators until 2021 or perhaps later to implement is simply unacceptable,” said Capt. Adamus.