Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has issued a new report that includes four new recommendations that it hopes will snap small aircraft operators out of what the board fears is a sense of complacency that is putting air-taxi pilots and passengers at too much risk.
“In the 18-year period from Jan. 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2017, there were 789 accidents in the air-taxi sector, resulting in 240 fatalities – representing 55 per cent of all accidents in commercial air services in Canada and 62 per cent of the fatalities in this period,” the TSB says in the report.
TSB senior investigator Glen Whitney says air-taxi operators don’t flagrantly break regulations as a general rule, but he says safe operations of the aircraft are being compromised to save money.
The risks include flying overweight, or flying into marginal weather or flying with minimal fuel reserves.
The four recommendations are eliminating the acceptance of unsafe operational practices; promoting proactive safety management processes and a positive safety culture; closing identified safety gaps in existing aviation regulations; and improving the collection of data to help regulators evaluate the impact of safety-related recommendations.
Transport Canada now has 90 days to respond to how it will implement the new recommendations.
With files from CBC, CP, Skies Magazine