Revised date for Canadian Implementation of Global Reporting Format (GRF) for Runway Surface Conditions and Interim Reporting of CRFI by Runway Thirds - Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) No. 2020-11

Attention:

All pilots, flight dispatchers, air operators, private operators, foreign air operators and flight training units conducting flight operations in Canada

File Classification No. : A 5500-15-15-3 U
RDIMS No.: 16859859
Document No.: CASA 2020-11
Issue No.: 01
Effective Date: 2020-10-09

Purpose:

The purpose of this Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is to advise pilots, flight dispatchers, air operators, private operators, foreign air operators and flight training units of:

  1. the revised implementation date of the Global Reporting Format (GRF) for runway surface conditions in Canada;
  2. interim measures being taken to address the reporting of Canadian Runway Friction Index (CRFI) by runway thirds, until GRF has been implemented; and
  3. forthcoming guidance information respecting GRF that is being developed by Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA).

Background:

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has developed a new globally harmonized methodology for reporting runway surface conditions called the Global Reporting Format (GRF).

Transport Canada and NAV CANADA have made the decision to delay the Canadian implementation of the GRF until August 12, 2021. This decision was made, first and foremost with safety concerns in mind due to the following compelling reasons:

  1. Technical development challenges which have resulted in delays;
  2. Stakeholder feedback, which indicated that additional time was needed; and
  3. The recent world-wide situation related to COVID-19 which is causing an unprecedented stress on government and stakeholder resources.

Taken together, these factors made it uncertain that all elements of the new system could be in place in time for the original target date of November 5, 2020. Canada is not unique in this this decision as ICAO has also delayed the implementation date of GRF until November 4, 2021.

Transport Canada Civil Aviation has also taken additional steps to enhance the safety of flight operations during winter weather conditions. Subpart 302 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) now includes a new Division IV – Airport Winter Maintenance which came into effect on May 15, 2020. These new regulations require the reporting of Canadian Runway Friction Index (CRFI) in thirds for runways which are greater than or equal to 1829 m (6000 feet) in length at airports which are utilized by subpart 705 and 704 air operators. Other airports and aerodromes may also report CRFI in thirds, if they wish to do so and comply with the applicable standards.

The original implementation date for GRF and the effective date of the Airport Winter Maintenance regulations had provided an opportunity to introduce the new GRF and reporting of CRFI in thirds at the same time. However, because of the delay in the implementation of GRF this is no longer possible. Therefore, runway surface conditions will continue to be reported as previously, with the exception that CRFI will now be reported by runway thirds, where applicable.

Discussion:

Revised Implementation Date for GRF

  1. August 12, 2021 was selected as the planned implementation date for GRF in Canada in view of the fact that in some locations, winter weather can occur in early autumn. This date will therefore allow the transition to the new reporting format to be completed prior to the earliest anticipated winter weather conditions.

Interim Measures for Reporting CRFI

  1. When CRFI is reported by runway thirds:
    • For a runway (e.g. 07/25), entries will be made for each runway end (e.g. runway 07 followed by runway 25);
    • The published runway surface condition report (NOTAM J) will show CRFI information as a remark when reporting in thirds:

      RMK: C.R.F.I. 09 -3C .40/.32/.28 AT 2009131504, C.R.F.I. RWY 27 -3C .28/.32/.40 AT 2009131504

      Note: Until the implementation of GRF, “C.R.F.I.” will appear with periods between each of the letters. This is necessary because of software issues associated with NAV CANADA’s SNOWiz system which generates these NOTAMs.

    • A situation may occur where a CRFI report is required for one third(s), but should not be reported for another third(s). This can happen when an individual runway third(s) is either dry or covered with a condition or contaminant(s) not conducive to CRFI reporting. Examples include runways which are wet or covered by slush or standing water. In these cases, the applicable runway third is listed as "XX" (for not reported) as shown in the example below:

      RMK: C.R.F.I. 09 -3C .32/XX/.28 AT 2009131504, C.R.F.I. RWY 27 -3C .28/XX/.32 AT 2009131504

  2. Reporting CRFI by full runway length (i.e. not by thirds) will continue as per the previous practice, as shown below:

    CXXX CRFI 09/27 -3C .32 2009131504

  3. Air Traffic Services (ATS) will also reflect these new regulatory requirements:
    1. When reporting by runway thirds, CRFI will be reported in the direction of the active runway. Example:

      [Airport name1Note 1: The location is issued if the location differs from the location providing the service. For example: Remote Aerodrome Advisory Service (RAAS) End note] friction index runway zero-nine, temperature minus one-eight, was decimal two-eight, decimal two-seven, decimal two-six, [Date2Note 2: ATS will issue the date (e.g. “on march one seven”) if it differs from the current date. End note] at one-four-three-zero.

      Notes:

      • 1. The location is issued if the location differs from the location providing the service. For example: Remote Aerodrome Advisory Service (RAAS)
      • 2. ATS will issue the date (e.g. “on march one seven”) if it differs from the current date.
    2. When CRFI is not reported for a runway third(s) the term “not reported” is used: Example:

      friction index runway zero-nine, temperature minus one-eight, was decimal two-eight, not reported, decimal two-six, at one-four-three-zero.

    3. When reporting by full runway length, CRFI will be reported as shown below:

      friction index runway one-four-three-two, temperature minus five was decimal three-six at two-three-one-five.

Forthcoming Guidance

  1. Guidance respecting GRF for flight operations personnel is under development. It is anticipated that this will be available during the winter of 2020-2021.

Recommended action:

Transport Canada reminds all pilots, flight dispatchers, air operators, private operators foreign air operators and flight training units:

  1. That they should be aware of the coming implementation of GRF in Canada on August 12, 2021.
  2. That they should be aware of the interim method for reporting CRFI in thirds, when applicable.
  3. That they should review the forthcoming guidance material on GRF and consider its inclusion in their organization’s documentation and training, as appropriate.

Contact office:

For more information concerning this issue, contact a Transport Canada Centre; or contact Chief, Commercial Flight Standards in Ottawa, by telephone at 613-990-1055, by fax at 613-990-6215 or by e-mail at deborah.martin@tc.gc.ca.

Original signed by

Robert Sincennes
Director
Standards Branch

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.