13 October 2012



Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS) is a new system put in place by Transport Canada. Transport’s website says, “The CAIRS provides our stakeholders, including our clients and the public, with a means to raise issues (concerns, complaints, compliments, and suggestions for improvement) to the Civil Aviation Program of Transport Canada.” http://bit.ly/RonR6d

Well, I tried it and I am disappointed with the results, at least when compared to how well Nav Canada replies to queries. Since hearing about CAIRS at a Transport Canada safety seminar (http://bit.ly/RonFUy) in Ottawa last month I have posed a couple of queries but had no response, not even acknowledgement that they were received.

The CAIRS process requires filing-in an MS Word document that one can download, fill in and send to CAIRS email address, CAIRS_NCR@tc.gc.ca. Alternatively one can download the same form as a “pdf” file and fill that in by hand and send it to the above-noted email address.

27 September I sent CAIRS their form indicating that pilots were being confused by the wording in the TC Airman’s Information Manual (AIM) on joining the circuit at uncontrolled airports. The substance of my comments were based on my blog posting, http://bit.ly/Roo1L1. This confusion was amplified by the discussions at the above-noted safety seminar.

Also on 27 September I copied CAIRS on my note to Nav Canada suggesting they eliminate the VFR reporting point called Rockcliffe Park, adjacent to Rockcliffe Airport and close to restricted airspace over Rideau Hall (CYR 538).

On 28 September Nav Canada confirmed by email that they had received my query and told me who would be handling it. On 5 October Nav Canada replied by email that they agreed with my analysis and would be eliminating the Rockcliffe Park reporting point, see http://bit.ly/Roo9tY.

CAIRS has yet to acknowledge my queries. Transport Canada should at least let their “stakeholders, including our clients and the public” know that they received a query and what their intentions are with respect to it. In fact, why not put them all on the TC website so we can all see them and track activity and results?

The bottom line, Nav Canada gets an “A” for excellence, Transport Canada CAIRS less.

Nonetheless, I thank Transport Canada Civil Aviation Inspectors Oonagh Elliott and Claude Hurley for delivering a stimulating safety seminar for COPA Flight 8 on 26 September 2012.


Transport Canada said...

Hi Michael,

We are committed to continuous improvement. It is our policy to acknowledge, within five days, all Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS) reports that we receive directly. In these cases, we did not and we apologize. As a result, we have reviewed and tightened up our processes for responding to CAIRS reports.

We are reviewing your queries and you will be hearing from us shortly.

We hope that you will continue to communicate with us, using CAIRS to report safety-related issues or concerns with our services or processes, and to report immediate safety concerns by contacting the Civil Aviation Contingency Operations (CACO) at 1-877-992-6853.

Transport Canada

Michael Shaw said...

Transport Canada

Thanks for commenting on the Blog. I still have not received direct confirmation that my queries were received, beyond your comment here-posted.

Transport Canada said...

Hi Michael,

A formal acknowledgement of both queries was sent directly to you this morning. Thank you again for following up.

Michael Shaw said...

Thanks Transport Canada for replying directly to me this morning and establishing a file for my concerns about the AIM's wording. I look forward to your 5 day acknowledgement process in the future.

As you noted Nav Canada will deal with my suggestion to remove VFR reporting point at Rockcliffe Park. In fact, Nav Canada has decided to remove it during updates in the future.

Bottom line, Transport Canada CAIRS, albeit with a shake start. CAIRS will be a good venue to raise your concerns or provide suggestions TC. Good idea TC.