About continuing airworthiness

Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

  • Directive mandating an inspection, repair, modification or procedure to correct an unsafe condition or non compliance with design standards.


  • Mailed or transmitted directly to affected owners, published in TP9856.
  • Approval of Alternative Means of Compliance or exemption to AD requirements where safety is not degraded.

Aging Aircraft Program

  • The inspection of older aircraft while undergoing heavy maintenance checks to sample the condition of the fleets to confirm the adequacy of aging aircraft programs or the need for additional requirements;
  • Working with Canadian aircraft manufacturers to ensure the timely development of aging aircraft requirements;
  • Participating in the FAA-led Aging Transport Systems Rulemaking Advisory Committee activities;
  • Participating in the Aging Structures Task Group activities.

Corrective Action Engineers

  • Investigation and resolution of in-service airworthiness problems for all aircraft and other aeronautical products manufactured or operated in Canada;
  • Coordination of activities of manufacturers, foreign aviation authorities and branch specialists in resolution of in-service problems.
  • Development of airworthiness directives (AD's)
  • Writing Service Difficulty Alerts and Advisories;
  • Management of Transport Canada aging aircraft program;
  • Support of Maintenance and Manufacturing branch unapproved parts activities;
  • Support of Maintenance and Manufacturing branch Maintenance Review Board (MRB) activities.

Specialist Engineers

  • Engineers with qualifications at post-graduate level in Nondestructive Testing (NDT) and Reliability &Maintainability.
  • Provided to Regions and Headquarters.

Specialist, Corrective Action Engineer, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

  • Provide consulting NDT expertise in the development of Division Airworthiness Directives, Alerts, Advisories, Feedback articles etc.;
  • Review and respond to operator requests for alternate means of compliance for NDT requirements;
  • Review service information from manufacturers (bulletins, service letters, digests etc.) relating to NDT;
  • Review foreign Airworthiness Directives and Mandatory Service Bulletins for appropriate NDT requirements and follow-up concerns with foreign authorities;
  • Provide consulting NDT expertise to the Branch and Regions on NDT engineering issues;
  • Assist M&M Branch in the development and interpretation of new CAR NDT regulations;
  • Represent TC on FAA Aging Aircraft Working Group for NDT; and
  • Assist M&M Branch in development of TC specialist training for NDT.

Specialist, Reliability and Maintainability (R &M)

  • Provide professional engineering expertise, advice and support as national resource specialist on Reliability &Maintainability to HQ and Regional TC staff;
  • Uses specialized tools in analysis of service history data in support of Branch certification activities;
  • Develop and support Automated Trend Monitoring System (ATMS) for Service Difficulty Reporting system;
  • Create tools and data analysis techniques to improve monitoring and evaluation of in service information to identify potential safety deficiencies;
  • Participate in development of initial scheduled maintenance programs for Canadian aerospace products as part of Maintenance and Manufacturing Branch certification team;
  • Maintenance Review Board (MRB) activities.

Technical Inspectors

  • Responsible for collection and analysis of information on Airworthiness deficiencies in Canadian manufactured or operated aircraft and other aeronautical products in service;
  • Responsible for the operation of the Service Difficulty Reporting (SDR) program, including:
  • Recording and analysis of each service difficulty report received,
  • Writing of service difficulty alerts and advisories and feedback articles, and
  • Carrying out in service difficulty investigations.
  • Co-ordination of branch review and response to TSB recommendations, advisories and occurrence reports and coroners' recommendations;
  • Review of all aeronautical product manufacturers' service bulletins and, additionally, domestic manufacturers' notices to operators;
  • Review of foreign aviation authorities' Airworthiness Directives;
  • Provide technical review to SDR's and Airworthiness Directives;
  • Maintain a listing of all airworthiness directives applicable to aircraft registered in Canada.

Information Programs Section

  • Manage the production and distribution of all Continuing Airworthiness publications:
    • Airworthiness Directives (AD’s),
    • Civil Aviation Safety Alerts (CASA's), 
    • Service Difficulty Alerts and Advisories,
    • Feedback quarterly publication, TP6980,
  • Manage printing and distribution to affected Canadian Owners of foreign AD’s applicable in Canada;
  • Manage national Computerized Airworthiness Web Information System (CAWIS) to provide and maintain readily accessible, current data on all aircraft registered in Canada and listing of all ads applicable in Canada;
  • Manage Annual Airworthiness Information Reporting (AAIR) system to collect annual utilization and related airworthiness data on all aircraft registered in Canada;
  • Provide promotional material and support for aircraft certification branch activities and, in particular, for Transport Canada Service Difficulty Reporting (SDR) program;
  • Co-ordinate, produce and distribute Airworthiness Notices;
  • Co-ordinate support of system safety publications by branch review for technical accuracy.

Alert and Advisory Information

  • Civil Aviation Safety Alerts 
    • non-mandoratory notifications used to convey important safety information and may contain recommended action items of specific hazards or problems 
  • Feedback
    • synopsis of reported service difficulties.

Computerized Airworthiness Web Information System (CAWIS)

  • Provided to all Regional Offices and Headquarters.
  • CAWIS is a national, mainframe computer-based information system providing all Aircraft Certification, Maintenance &Manufacturing, and Airworthiness offices with access to complete and current airworthiness data on all Canadian registered aircraft, thereby enabling the Airworthiness of the Canadian fleet to be effectively monitored. The system has 300-400 registered users.
  • CAWIS comprises databases of basic tombstone information from the paper 5008 files on each aircraft, e.g. Owner information, aircraft, engine and propeller details, activity data (hours flown), damage and repair notes, etc.; and a listing of all Airworthiness Directives (ADs) or their equivalent and Mandatory Service Bulletins (MSB) applicable in Canada.

The system serves four basic functions as follows:

  • Airworthiness data for all Canadian aircraft
    • individual 5008 files on 28,000 registered aircraft
    • editorial system of 'standardized' makes &models incorporated in National Aeronautical Product Approval (NAPA) system.
    • flexible ad-hoc feature to search and cross reference any data field
    • provides essential data to NAPA, SDR and other systems
    • owner info updated daily from Canadian Civil Aircraft Registered Computer System (CCARCS) 
    • regions and districts maintain and have ownership of data for 'their' aircraft
  • Airworthiness Directives
    • index of all 16,500 ADs and MSBs applicable in Canada 
    • retrievable by registration mark or product
  • Owner/address labels
    • facilitates rapid HQ mail out of ADs/MSBs and service difficulty info (approx. 500/year)
    • flexible search/retrieve functions for owners of affected products
  • Annual Airworthiness Information Reporting (AAIR)
    • automatic weekly mailout of due AAIR forms to aircraft owners
    • records incoming AAIR data (in 5008 files)
    • Records exceptions e.g. Fleets, alternative due dates, exemptions
    • Maintains currency of 5008 data and feeds Aviation Statistics (AVSTATS) aircraft activity report.

Service Difficulty Reporting (SDR) Program

CAR 521 Division IX

The purpose of the Transport Canada's SDR system is to collect, analyze, record and disseminate data concerning those defects and malfunctions which have resulted in, or are likely to result in a safety hazard to an aircraft or its occupants. It is intended to use the reported information to support the regulatory activities required to improve the level of flight safety.

To this end Transport Canada will:

  • Assess each report for airworthiness safety implications, both in itself and in relation to previous similar reports;
  • Use the data collected on a national basis to establish trends that would not be apparent regionally or to individual operators;
  • Issue specific advice or instructions to particular sections of the aviation community.

Annual Airworthiness Information Reporting (AAIR) Program

System to collect annual utilization and related airworthiness information on all Canadian registered aircraft.