Transport Canada Publishes New Flight & Duty Time Regulations

On December 12 2018, Transport Canada published new Flight & Duty Time regulations, over the objections of HAC, and virtually every other aviation association in Canada. The new regulations can be found at the link, below:

http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2018/2018-12-12/html/sor-dors269-eng.html

The regulations are the culmination of a long and acrimonious exchange between Transport Canada and industry on this subject, and HAC has argued that helicopter operators will be one of the industry segments most negatively affected by the new rules. As you know, HAC and other associations have made our views known to Members of Parliament – both in government and the Opposition, and to Treasury Board members, who finally approved the regulations for publication in CG2. We understand that this issue is critically important to our industry, and particularly important to small, seasonal operators. Transport Canada has claimed that the new regulations are based in science however, HAC and others have maintained that Transport Canada has pandered to the demands of the largest airline unions, and largely ignored the interests of other industry segments. HAC, and other industry associations are considering our next steps on this subject, but for now, we wanted to provide a short summary of the changes we are facing, and a narrative on some of our options as we face the new regulations, as they were published.

The new regulations will not take effect until four years after their publication in in CG2 – which means that until December 12 2022, the status quo will apply. Transport Canada has indicated that in the meantime they are open to association-sponsored FRMS applications (applicable to a particular operation-type or industry segment) for relief from the most problematic parts of the new regulations. In a briefing from Transport Canada, earlier this week, they mentioned specifically that they are open to an FRMS application that would reinstate a “Zeroing” concept, at some level. Unfortunately, Transport Canada was unwilling to consider the zeroing concept earlier in the process, and there is some question whether FRMS will actually provide any practical relief from the prescriptive regulations on terms that will be scalable for the size and complexity of the operation. There is some question whether FRMS can be practically implemented except in the context of an SMS, and Transport Canada’s Pilot Programs for FRMS have failed, so far. Transport Canada, over the last 15 years, has failed to devise an SMS that is scalable for the size and complexity of a small operator, and HAC has some reservations whether it will ever be a regulatory requirement for CAR 703 and 704 operators.

HAC also believes that the new Cumulative Duty Hour limits are unsupported by the fatigue-related science. That is, the Duty Day that your pilot worked 21 days ago (for example) is largely irrelevant to his/her fatigue levels today – provided that the crew member receives regular and sufficient rest.
In a number of ways, the new regulations are more conservative than the regulations that were published in Canada Gazette I, and HAC believes – for that reason alone, the regulations should have been re-published for fresh comments in Canada Gazette I. The Time Free from Duty section (700.119 (1) See below) for example, is considerably more conservative that the CG1 version. The new wording, makes it virtually impossible to conduct continuous deployed operations with a single pilot, even using two-week rotations. These regulations are a radical departure from the current rules, and they are intolerable for the helicopter industry in their current form. Transport Canada needs to hear from you, in your words.

Specifically excluded from the application of the new regulations are MEDEVAC Operations, and CAR 702 operations however, the fact that our industry frequently switches between CAR 702 and CAR 703 operations, will mitigate the benefits of having CAR 702 excluded. If your flight crews are doing both types of operations, the more restrictive CAR 703 limits would be applicable.

Even after publication in CG2, nothing is ever final, and we have four years to continue our work on this file. The complexion of this issue could change considerably if the Liberals are not re-elected in next Fall’s Federal election, or if Minister Garneau does not run, again, for example.
Transport Canada senior management have asked HAC to solicit feedback on the new regulations, and we invite you to provide your initial response directly to HAC in writing, so that we can de-identify and consolidate those remarks in an HAC submission to Transport Canada, by the end of next week. Please also review the included Advisory Circulars. The Minister and his staff should be aware of the implications of these new regulations on our industry segment, in no uncertain terms. We will be having a preliminary meeting with Transport Canada early next week to alert them to some of the most problematic elements of the new regulations.

High Level Summary of the Changes for DAY VFR Operations

MAXIMUM FLIGHT DUTY PERIOD — FLIGHTS CONDUCTED UNDER DAY VFR [Currently 14 hours]

Item -
Start Time of Flight Duty Period - Maximum Flight Duty Period
1 - 24:00 to 03:59 - 9 hours
2 - 04:00 to 04:59 - 10 hours
3 - 05:00 to 05:59 - 11 hours
4 - 06:00 to 06:59 - 12 hours
5 - 07:00 to 12:59 - 13 hours
6 - 13:00 to 16:59 - 12.5 hours
7 - 17:00 to 21:59 - 12 hours
8 - 22:00 to 22:59 - 11 hours
9 - 23:00 to 23:59 - 10 hours

Maximum Number of Hours of Work [NEW Rule]

700.29 (1) An air operator shall not assign a flight duty period to a flight crew member, and a flight crew member shall not accept such an assignment, if, as a result, the member’s number of hours of work will exceed

• (a) 2,200 hours in any 365 consecutive days; • (b) 192 hours in any 28 consecutive days [An average of roughly 7.6 hours/day DUTY] ;
• (c) 60 hours in any 7 consecutive days if the air operator has provided the member with the following time free from duty: o (i) 1 single day free from duty in any 168 consecutive hours [1 day in 7], and o (ii) 4 single days free from duty in any 672 consecutive hours [28 days]; or
• (d) 70 hours in any 7 consecutive days if the air operator has provided 120 consecutive hours [5 days] free from duty, including 5 consecutive local nights’ rest, in any 504 consecutive hours [21 days] and if
     o (i) the member is not assigned early duty, late duty or night duty,
     o (ii) the member is not assigned a flight duty period greater than 12 hours, and
     o (iii) the member’s maximum number of hours of work is 24 hours in any consecutive 48 hours.

Maximum Flight Time

700.103 (1) An air operator shall not assign a flight crew member for flight time, and a flight crew member shall not accept such an assignment, if the member’s total flight time will, as a result, exceed

• (a) if the flight is conducted under Subpart 4 or 5 using an aircraft other than a helicopter, 40 hours in any 7 consecutive days;
• (b) if the flight is conducted under Subpart 3, or is conducted using a helicopter, 60 hours in any 7 consecutive days; • (c) 120 hours in any 30 consecutive days [Currently 150 in 30] or, in the case of a flight crew member on call, 100 hours in any 30 consecutive days [New]; • (d) 300 hours in any 90 consecutive days [Currently 450 in 90];
• (e) 1,200 hours in any 365 consecutive days; or • (f) in the case of a single-pilot operation, 8 hours in any 24 consecutive hours [New]. [Zeroing provisions, deleted]

Maximum Flight Duty Period

700.104 An air operator shall not assign a flight duty period to a flight crew member, and a flight crew member shall not accept such an assignment, if the flight duty period exceeds 14 hours.
Rest Period — General
700.116 (1) An air operator shall provide a flight crew member, at the end of a flight duty period, with a rest period of 10 hours plus the travel time to and from the place where the rest period is taken [New].
(2) An air operator shall provide a flight crew member with advance notice of the member’s rest period and its duration.

Time Free from Duty

700.119 (1) An air operator shall provide each flight crew member with the following time free from duty [At the limit, currently 5 off after 42 days to “zero”]:
• (a) at least 36 consecutive hours in 7 days; and
• (b) at least 3 consecutive days in 17 days.

Consecutive Flight Duty Periods

700.120 An air operator shall provide a flight crew member with at least 24 consecutive hours free from flight duty following three consecutive flight duty period assignments that exceed 12 consecutive hours unless the member has received a rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours free from flight duty between each flight duty period assignment [New].

Transport Canada senior management have invited us to solicit feedback from Operator-members on the new regulations, and we invite you to provide your comments directly to HAC in writing, so that we can de-identify and consolidate those remarks in an HAC submission to Transport Canada. The Minister and his staff should be aware of the implications of these new regulations on our industry segment.
Please review the regulations in their entirety, and make your written submission to HAC to fred.jones@h-a-ca on, or before December 20 2018. Please identify the sections that are most problematic for your operation.

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