Harper government takes action to enhance air safety

OTTAWA — The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced new regulations to improve aviation safety in Canada. The new regulations require private turbine-powered and commercial airplanes with six or more passenger seats to be equipped with an alert system known as the “terrain awareness and warning system” (TAWS).

“While Canada has one of the safest aviation systems in the world, we are committed to the continuous improvement of aviation safety,” said Minister Lebel. “Terrain awareness and warning systems will help save lives.”

The system provides acoustic and visual alerts to flight crews when the path of their aircraft is likely to collide with terrain, water or obstacles — a situation that can happen when visibility is low or the weather is poor. This gives the flight crew enough time to take evasive action.

The new regulations will also significantly increase safety for small aircraft, which fly into remote wilderness or mountainous areas where the danger of flying into terrain is highest.

Under the new regulations, operators will have two years to equip their airplanes with TAWS.

The regulations comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards and bring Canadian regulations closer to those of other aviation authorities, including the United States and European Union. Canada’s Transportation Safety Board also recommends the wider use of TAWS to help pilots assess their proximity to terrain. 

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