Appendix A: SATOPS - Task Force - Terms of Reference


After analysis of accident data, Transport Canada Aviation has concluded that most commercial aviation accidents occur in the air taxi sector. While the total number of accidents in 1995 was close to the average, the fatal accident record was higher than the five year average. The Air Carrier Inspection Task Force Report stated that Transport Canada defines aviation safety "as a condition achieved through the systematic process of identifying and forecasting aviation risks and developing facilities, services, programs or procedures to minimize these risks, thereby preventing the loss of aviation resources due to accidents or incidents." Although it is in the interest of the aviation industry to minimize these risks, the accident record shows that this "condition" is not well focused in the air taxi operational environment.

Transport Canada Aviation believes that more regulation is not necessarily the solution since Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigations have shown that contributing factors in many of these accidents included a disregard of current regulations. From a human factors perspective, Transport Canada requires an understanding of the air carriers' attitudes towards safe operating practices. These attitudes are generated by management, transferred to the pilots and other operational personnel, and influence the air carriers' operating practices and the pilots' decision making.

With the introduction of the Canadian Aviation Regulations and the further delegation of responsibilities to the aviation industry, it is timely that Transport Canada Aviation, in consultation with the industry, address the safety record of air taxi operators.


The Task Force (TF) will propose ways to improve the safety record of the air taxi segment of the aviation industry. It will also address the subjects of TSB recommendations that impact on air taxi operations.


The TF will meet with air operators and pilots in an open forum in several locations in each of the Regions as determined by the demographics study conducted by an aviation consultant. Through these consultations the TF will:

  1. identify the culture or attitudes that are evident in this sector of the industry and/or indentifiable geographic areas;
  2. work with the aviation industry to clearly define the problems, seek solutions and resolve issues in an open and consultative forum;
  3. identify safety practices that are being applied by individual air carriers and that can be shared with and utilised by other air carriers;
  4. review the air carrier/client relationship;
  5. determine the effectiveness of the TCA inspection and audit program from both the Transport Canada and the air carriers' perspective;
  6. determine how to improve communication of safety related concerns between Transport Canada Aviation and the aviation industry; and
  7. recommend ways to address the identified problems.


The Task Force will focus on the fixed wing and helicopter air taxi segment (9 passengers or less) of the industry. Some commuter (10 - 19 passengers) operations will also be reviewed since many of the air taxi operators also operate commuter aircraft.

Task Force

The Task Force will be comprised of representatives from aviation industry and labour associations as well as Transport Canada Headquarters and Regional personnel from Air Carrier and System Safety. Co-operation is anticipated from the Regional Directors who will nominate personnel to become involved in the Task Force. A list of the personnel will be attached to the terms of reference. J.E. Adamson, Air Carrier Operational Standards, will chair the Task Force.

Steering Committee

A Steering Committee chaired by D. Spruston, Director General, Civil Aviation with the following members will direct the Task Force:

  • N. Leblanc - Director, Standards and Studies
  • A.J. LaFlamme - Director, Air Carrier
  • W. Peters - Director, Safety Programs
  • M.R. Preuss - Chief, Air Carrier Operational Standards
  • J. Coulliard/R. Corkett - Director, Air Navigation System Requirements


The TF will report to the Steering Committee on a regular and on an "as required" basis. The Steering Committee will provide guidance and direction to the TF and approve the work plan developed by the TF.

The TF Chair will consult a SATOPS Industry Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from the aviation industry. This advisory committee will provide the TF with an industry perspective on the identified problems and may identify other problems. The TF will solicit solutions to these problems from the advisory committee.


An aviation consulting company was contracted on February 1, 1996 to identify problems and develop a TF plan for the joint industry/Transport Canada meetings. Proposed project milestones are as follows:

  1. The consultant's report will be submitted to Transport Canada by March 25, 1996.
  2. Review of the consultant's report and development of workplan and budget completed by May 17, 1996.
  3. An Air Carrier Advisory Circular will be distributed to advise air carriers and pilots of this project and to advise them of the planned meetings by May 31, 1996.
  4. The Task Force will schedule meetings with air carriers in early fall for completion by November 15, 1996.
  5. Draft report completed by November 29, 1996.
  6. Final report completed by December 31, 1996.


The Task Force Chair will prepare a budget for approval by the Steering Committee. The budget will outline Transport Canada Aviation resource commitments and indicate where industry resource commitments will be sought.

Administrative Support

Air Carrier Operational Standards (AARXB) will provide administrative support.


D. Spruston

Director General, Civil Aviation


W. Peters

A/Director General, System Safety

Accepted by:


for J.E. Adamson

Chair, SATOPS Task Force

Steering Committee:


N. Leblanc for A.J. LaFlamme

Director, Standards and Studies Director, Air Carrier


P. Marquis

A/Director, Safety Programs


M.R. Preuss

Chief, Air Carrier Operational Standards






J. Coulliard

Director, Air Navigation System Requirements

Addendum to Amend the Safety of Air Taxi Operations (SATOPS) Task Force

Terms of Reference


At the initial Task Force meeting held on September 11 & 12, 1996, it was decided that Aircraft Maintenance Engineers should be invited to participate in the regional working group meetings or otherwise be able to provide input to the Task Force. The locations for the Task Force working group meetings were determined by the regional Transport Canada representatives since the aviation consultant did not provide a demographics study in his report.

Task Force

Membership on the Task Force will include regional representation from the Transport Canada Airworthiness division as determined by the respective Regional Managers. These representatives will coordinate activities with the regional System Safety and Commercial Aviation representatives and participate in their respective regional Task Force working group meetings as their schedules allow.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, at the meeting held on October 4, 1996, approved the nomination of Don Sherritt, Director, Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing, as a member of the Steering Committee. Walter Peters remains on the Committee as Acting Director General, System Safety. Bob Nicholson joined the Committee as Acting Director, Safety Programs.


The aviation consultant did not develop a plan for the joint industry/Transport Canada meetings. This will be done by the Task Force members. The proposed project milestones have been amended as follows:

  1. The industry consultation working group meetings have been scheduled between January 10 and February 22, 1997.
  2. Draft report completed by March 14, 1997.
  3. Final report completed by March 31, 1997.

Accepted by: D. Spruston


J.E. Adamson

Chair, SATOPS Task Force


D. Spruston

Director General, Civil Aviation