Following our inquiry into the interests of our GA community into the possible availability of an En Route Instrument Rating, in a similar fashion to the European version of such a rating, numerous pilots answered positively, displaying much enthusiasm in their perception for such a rating and how safety-enhancing and practical this could potentially be for a qualified pilot.
Subsequent to this, much work has been carried out to define and structure such a qualification, the training required, the privileges attached to that rating, etc. Discussions between Transport Canada – Civil Aviation (TCCA) and COPA indicated then that there was openness in TCCA if the numbers were sufficiently high to warrant the effort associated to development and maintenance of such a reduced IFR rating. On that basis, COPA carried out work at risk, without the direct support of TCCA, with the goal of presenting a good project to TCCA.
Recent informal discussions with TCCA indicate that the level of interest at this time is significantly insufficient to continue devoting limited resources on this project. While COPA did receive somewhat in excess of one hundred very strong expressions of interest and hope, TCCA would require at least three thousand strong commitments to proceed with the project. Although disappointing for these hundred or so pilots, one can also understand TCCA’s position. The process of developing a new rating, defining its maintenance and managing it long term is very complex and consumes an exceedingly vast amount of resources, resources that TCCA does not have to dedicate to a rating that so few pilots are interested in. Under the circumstances, COPA agrees with the TCCA position with regards to this project.
Consequently, the project of ‘reduced IFR’ will not proceed any further at this point in time. Should a much larger crowd of pilots become seriously interested in the future, COPA and TCCA would consider reopening the file.