- management of health and welfare of Canadians living in the north and remote areas is complex;
- Transport Canada is pursuing changes to the Flight and Duty Rules that apply to many northern and remote air operators in Canada;
- analysis by the Northern Air Transport Association revealed many of the changes will have an adverse effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of northern operators providing medevac services;
- there is no evidence of deterioration in safety in medivac services throughout the north due to incidences of fatigue;
- a common element of all medical lift actions is the unpredictability of the mission and the importance of relying on good judgment by operators and maintaining the highest possible operational standards;
- the new rules appear to be focused on circumstances faced in southern Canada, with no understanding of the unique issues associated with northern and remote aviation.
BE IT RESOLVED:
- Transport Canada postpone the Gazette process regarding new rules until a comprehensive system safety review is conducted to determine whether current regulations result in scenarios where safety is compromised due to pilot fatigue;
- assuming the outcome of the system safety review is negative, that Transport Canada officials hold a dialogue with northern operators to determine ways to strengthen safety through regulation or adoption and communication of best practices that are unique to northern and remote circumstances;
- Transport Canada inventory the current state of flight infrastructure associated with safe flying in northern and remote environments, with an eye to setting priorities for infrastructure upgrade or installation funding;
- Transport Canada pursue the recommendations of the 2017 Auditor General Report regarding establishment of essential airports and definition of “Northern Canada”.