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Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA): Responsible Aerodrome Development #2013-014 

Update at July 2015

30-day consultation period ends on August 10, 2015, If you wish to provide comments!  
http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2015/2015-07-11/html/reg14-eng.php

Interested persons may make representations with respect to the proposed Regulations to the Minister of Transport within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All representations must be in writing and cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice and be sent to Marie-Anne Dromaguet, Chief, Regulatory Affairs (AARBH), Civil Aviation, Safety and Security Group, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (general inquiries – tel.: 613-993-7284 or 1-800-305-2059; fax: 613-990-1198; Internet address: http://www.tc.gc.ca)

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On March 31st and April 1st the Civil Aviation Regulatory Advisory Council (CARAC) convened a focus group to discuss the Notice of Proposed Amendment; (NPA) to the Canadian Aviation Regulations relating to Responsible Aerodrome Development. Nav Canada, COPA and most of the other major aviation associations in Canada were in attendance. 

The current CARAC is taking place to amend the CARs on aerodromes to include a consultation process that must take place, in certain circumstances, when planning to install a new aerodrome or make certain changes to an existing aerodrome. COPA agrees to consultation but the details of consultation are of outmost importance. These regulations will be put in place and the NPA, as written and published publicly on February 26, would have had a dramatic negative effect on the development of new and existing aerodromes and airports in Canada.

The good news is that during the recent two day Focus Group meetings, significant modifications were proposed by the Focus Group’s Subject Matter Experts and accepted, in principal, by Transport Canada. 

However, these recommendations still have to pass the test of the legal drafting mechanisms and also be approved by the Minister. 

Draft minutes/reports of the focus group have been produced, however there is only a very short time provided to make comment on them by April 22nd before these drafts are placed in the mechanism that will produce the Gazette 1 version by this coming June. Once the proposed regulations have been posted in Gazette 1 it is very difficult to make any significant changes. That is why COPA’s and the other associations, input was, and is, so critical given the short time frame relating to producing these new regulations.

At the time of writing, the number of communications to CARAC are believed to be over 750! Thank you to all of you that took the time to write.

Contrary to previous reports the original NPA was not rescinded and the timetable for going to Gazette 1 is still June of 2015, therefore the timeline for getting these changes right, is very short. 

COPA still has concerns that the drafting of the final regulations and guidance material are being fast-tracked and that COPA, and the other industry associations, will not have a further opportunity to consult with Transport Canada prior to the final product being consolidated in Gazette 1.

COPA has contacted Minister Raitt, the CARAC Secretariat, and the Focus Group and requested that prior to publishing: the associated guidance on public consultation; the dispute resolution mechanisms; and the Gazette 1 version of the regulations; associated with this NPA, that a further focus group be convened to review these final documents. 

What more can be done now? You can contact: the Minister; a cabinet minister; and/or your MP; and ask them to ensure that the recommendations that were agreed on during the March 31 & April 1 meeting, through the CARAC process be implemented when considering the new regulations and that COPA’s requests for further consultation, prior to the Gazette 1 process be accepted. 

This issue, is fundamental to the health of the aviation infrastructure in Canada and it is important that we get it right. 

For those unaware of this situation please go to this link:  

COPA has struck an NPA Committee to monitor this ongoing issue. The Committee is meeting regularly via teleconference and the members of the committee are: 

Trekker Armstrong, Chairman of the Board and Director for Alberta & NWT

Jean Messier, Eastern Vice Chair and Director for Quebec

Patrick Gilligan, Vice-President of Operations in Ottawa

Tim Cole, Director for BC & YT 

The NPA Committee will post updates, on the COPA website, COPA eFlight and in this newspaper.