For the past three weeks, COPA has been participating in meetings with Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) and over 200 other representatives from the aviation industry. The purpose of these meetings is to share information and find solutions that are applicable to the diverse sphere of Canadian aviation. The meetings include discussion surrounding exemptions that may be required to continue operations, to maintain legality, and also to offer flexibility during these difficult times.
TCCA elaborated on specific matters affecting the entire industry, including two critical elements:
1 - Health Services: Doctors as well as all health practitioners are part of the first line of defence and they are literally overwhelmed with work. The situation will eventually make it difficult to schedule an appointment to renew Aviation Medical Certificates;
2 - Aviation-related Services: Services related to the maintenance of aircraft as well as aerial operations have been designated "essential services". Businesses supporting the aviation industry can therefore continue their normal operations. Note that these operations will almost certainly be affected by present circumstances and delays should be expected.
In regards to item 1, Health Services, TC published the following exemption:
All aviation medical certificates expiring on or before June 1st, 2020 will have an extended validity until August 1st, 2020. You can view the detailed exemption notice #NCR-021-2020 at this link. In addition, no new medical certificates will be issued during this exemption period.
In regards to item 2, Aviation-related Services, TCCA has decided that the following cases do not require an exemption:
o Instrument rating requirements: no exemption
o Instrument rating recency requirements: no exemption
o Annual aircraft inspections: the original response from TCCA was that no exemption was required on this matter, but COPA has asked them to revisit this point or to formulate a plan for resuming inspections once the quarantine is over, in light of the exceptions raised since the restrictions began.
To that end, COPA advises the following:
1. Even if there are no aviation-specific restrictions to date, COPA recommends following the guidelines/restrictions published by the government that are applicable to all citizens;
2. In addition, we have asked TCCA if there are any guidelines in place or to come regarding the use of private aircraft (GA):
o Officially, no, TCCA has no new or planned guidelines specific to GA. However, the guidelines published by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) do apply - see the infographic at the bottom of the page as well as your provincial and local directives.
o There are also restrictions regarding aircraft arriving from other countries. Details are available on the government website.
3. Transborder flights: as the situation rapidly evolves, COPA recommends checking-in with the appropriate agencies prior to embarking on cross-border flights. Note that the CBSA recommends limiting flights to only those that are absolutely necessary, no tourism flights or otherwise. The guidelines can be found here;
COPA's recommendations are along these lines. We strongly advise you to respect the official restrictions, use your good judgement, and distinguish between which services are essential and which are not. It is up to you to use common sense. If your flight is not essential and can wait, stay home.
Do not hesitate to send me your questions,
Jean Claude (JC) Audet
VP Operations COPA