The SATOPS Task Force used several information gathering techniques: industry consultation meetings; information about the SATOPS project including a feedback function was established on the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Website; a questionnaire was distributed at the industry meetings; a toll-free telephone "hotline" was established; and a feedback document was distributed to industry. The intent was to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible involved in the Air Taxi industry to make their views and concerns known to the Task Force.
The Task Force met with Air Taxi operators, pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in 34 industry consultation sessions across Canada to:
- identify the culture or attitudes that are evident in the Air Taxi sector of the industry and/or identifiable geographic areas;
- work with the aviation industry to clearly define the problems, seek solutions and resolve issues in an open and consultative forum;
- identify safety practices that are being applied by individual air operators and that can be shared with and utilised by other air operators;
- review the air operator/client relationship;
- determine the effectiveness of the Transport Canada, Safety and Security inspection and audit program from both the Transport Canada and the air operator perspective;
- determine how to improve the communication of safety related concerns between Transport Canada Safety and Security and the aviation industry; and
- recommend ways to address the identified problems. Alexander and Alexander (Reed Stenhouse) fully supported the SATOPS initiative. Representatives from the company provided the insurance industry's perspective in the industry consultation sessions. Locations and dates of these meetings are listed in Appendix C. Following the industry consultation sessions, the input from the meetings, the mailed-in comments, and the information gathered from the "hotline" and the Internet was consolidated and catagorized. The Task Force drafted an interim report containing the findings from the industry meetings and interim recommendations.
The interim report was distributed to various branches of Transport Canada, NAV CANADA and the Transportation Safety Board for review and comment. Some of those concerned provided preliminary feedback to several of the findings and recommendations, while others preferred not to provide any feedback until a full detailed analysis could be conducted. This analysis would not take place until after the release of the final report, hence, during the implementation phase of the project.
The implementation phase of the project will include all official responses and an action plan.
A SATOPS Feedback booklet containing a summary of the comments gathered in the industry consultation sessions was sent to all commercial pilots, Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Air Taxi operators. This booklet contained information about the project, requested comments about safety concerns or safety programs that the person or person's company followed, and outlined industry's perspective and safety concerns. The potential benefit of this, is to start people thinking about their own operating practices and judge their own safety-mindedness. Feedback received from industry was also used to validate the observations made in the industry consultation sessions.