COVID-19 has pushed back the effective date of new regulations requiring personal flotation devices for passengers and crew on small commercial seaplanes. The rules were supposed to go into effect on Sept. 6 and they’ve been pushed back to June 6, 2021. The pandemic is getting the blame. “COVID-19 has also rendered it difficult for seaplane operators to source PFDs, as numerous manufacturing companies have shifted production to pandemic-related personal protective equipment,” notice to the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council says.
The new rules will require passengers and crew in commercial seaplanes carrying nine passengers or less to wear PFDs when the aircraft is on or over water. The rule was created in response to a spate of fatal seaplane crashes in the past 10 years. The change in the effective date does not apply to another major part of the new reg. Pilot underwater egress training will stay on the same schedule but pilots still have 18 months to get the training done. It will have to be repeated every three years.