Monday, March 18, 2013

"State of Transport" Highlights From the WAMEA Symposium

“State of Transport” Highlights From the WAMEA Airworthiness Symposium

I had the privilege of speaking at the Western Aircraft Engineers Association Airworthiness Symposium in Calgary Alberta this past week. Many AME’s who were in classes at the time of my address, asked me to post some of the highlights of what I shared with the group. Here are some of the more salient points I discussed:

  • It is no secret that Transport Canada has had to endure a draconian budget cuts this year and the next fiscal year. What are some of the consequences? First to go, in a budget cut, is training. Many inspectors are having to forgo essential training that would keep up the level of expertise at least par with the aviation industry. A collateral consequence of this lack of training dollars, is a major hit to worker morale. 

  • Another result of budget cuts is in the way Transport Canada performs it’s surveillance activity on enterprises. Surveillance will concentrate on “System’s Approach” to Assessments. Since SMS requires an enterprise to have a “Self Healing” system. Assessments, PVIs and PIs focus on control of processes. Enterprises that can prove “Control” of risks and processes will require less oversight.  Here is a draft map of the Systems Level Surveillance. 

  • The Surveillance Procedure that Transport Canada uses, SUR001, is being revised to version 5. This new version should be rolled out by the end of April. The new version will have more detailed requirements for the issuance of certificate actions. Also due to budget, TCCA surveillance has gone to a “5 year plan” where ALL enterprises will be visited within 5 years. TCCA will use a company risk assessment tool that will yield and Alphanumeric code for your company that will be entered into a special Risk Matrix. The result of this matrix will dictate your risk level and consequently your surveillance interval cycle. 

  • SMS is coming to 704,703 enterprises! A big driver for SMS in the smaller carriers is the Air Transport Association of Canada, ATAC. ATAC has petitioned Transport Canada to implement SMS for 704/703 enterprises by April of 2014. It is important for your company to begin the transition to an SMS now.

  • For 704/703 enterprises, the story of the golfer is pertinent here. “There was a golfer who was preparing to drive the ball off the tee. He put the tee down next to a large ant hill. He took his first swing and completely missed the ball and hit the ant hill. Ant went flying all over the grass. He squares up again and takes his second swing. Again he misses the ball and hits the ant hill again. The remaining ants look at each other and say,”If we are going to survive, we better get on the Ball!!!”
  • Last I was permitted to give a 5 minute commercial for our SMS Memory Jogger which featured an excellent case study on establishing Goals and Objectives based on the companies Safety Risk Profile. It also has a tremendous tool called the “7 step Risk Management Plan” that companies have actually extracted and put on their letterhead. This plan, when followed, meets all the requirements of Hazard/Incident 
  • reporting from Awareness through Risk, Root Cause Analysis to closure and follow-up. 

  • I plan on expanding on the System Approach to Surveillance in some future blogs. Any question or comments, please feel free to email me If you have any thoughts here...............well......feel free to comment. 

  • . Note: the SMS Memory Jogger II is available at  


  1. It has been said that ants are some of the smartest working creatures on earth... and it is unbelievable what they can accomplish by working together in an organized system.


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