Friday, December 2, 2011

The Government of Canada takes action to enhance air safety

No. H120/11
For release - December 2, 2011

OTTAWA — The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced proposed new regulations to enhance the safety of Canadian aviation. These regulations would require private and commercial airplanes with six or more passenger seats to be equipped with an alert system known as the "terrain awareness and warning system" (TAWS).

“Our government will continue strengthening aviation safety for Canadians,” said Minister Lebel. “Using TAWS will significantly reduce the risk of airplane crashes with land, water or obstacles.”

TAWS provides acoustic and visual alerts to flight crews when the path of their aircraft is predicted to collide with terrain, water or obstacles — a situation that can occur when visibility is low or the weather is poor. This gives the flight crew sufficient time to take evasive action.

These types of accidents often happen when pilots are unaware of the danger until it is too late. The risk is even greater for small aircraft, which fly further into remote wilderness or mountainous areas but are not currently required to have the same proximity warning equipment as large airliners.

The proposed regulations comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization's standards and help harmonize Canadian regulations more closely with those of other aviation authorities, including those in the United States and European Union. Canada's Transportation Safety Board also recommends the wider use of TAWS to help pilots assess their proximity to terrain.

Transport Canada is committed to the continuous improvement of aviation safety. These proposed amendments will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 3, 2011. Stakeholders will have a 75-day consultation period to comment on the proposed regulations before they are finalized and published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

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Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
(Hat tip to Graham)

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