Groups Want Delay On Flight Recorder Mandate

Canadian aviation groups and the powerful U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association have urged Transport Canada to suspend plans to require lightweight data recorders on most general aviation aircraft. For decades, the Transportation Safety Board has been appealing to regulators to require simple flight parameter recorders on the majority of aircraft to help determine crash causes. The TSB has numerous inconclusive investigations on its books that it says would have been aided with data from a recorder. Last year, TC issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment mandating the recorders be retrofited on the existing fleet and during manufacture of new aircraft and triggered a 75-day comment period. Many of the devices currently available are just video cameras trained on the instrument panel.

The gist of the multi-agency comment from the aviation groups is that enacting the amendment will unleash a torrent of compliance, technical and logistical issues that aren’t justified by data supporting the amendment. The groups also note that no other aviation authorities have mandated flight recorders. If TC decides to not accept the recommendation that the amendment be delayed, it hopes to have the rule in place by early 2023.