Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) inspectors will be fanning out at GA airports across the country starting “imminently” to take the pulse of general aviation safety. The unfortunately named “targeted inspections” will take the form of a survey in which inspectors will go through a list of questions that relate to safety issues in GA. At an information session at the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) convention and trade show in Saint John, Peter Fullarton, the regional director for civil aviation in the Atlantic region said the emphasis is on education rather than enforcement in the project. “It’s a non-punitive approach to gathering input and data,” Fullarton said to a skeptical crowd of about 30 convention delegates.
The inspectors will ask about licences and ratings held, currency, aircraft equipment and restraints all with the aim of building a composite picture of the nature of GA operations and the issues that affect safety. The goal is to then focus on areas that intersect with accident data with the aim of concentrating safety and accident prevention initiatives in areas that appear to be weak. Fullarton said the inspections could go on for years as the department builds its data base. He also noted that while the survey program is primarily for TCCA information gathering, the inspectors will not turn a blind eye to infractions they might come across during the interviews.