Canada Boosts BizAv Oversight

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The Canadian government is clawing back safety oversight and administration of the business aircraft industry in response to criticism by the country's Transportation Safety Board. As AVweb reported in November, the TSB cited lack of oversight of a business jet operator's Safety Management System as a contributing factor in a runway accident involving a Bombardier Global 5000 in Fox Harbour, Nova Scotia in 2007. Since 2005, SMS oversight of some operators has been handled by the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) and the TSB said it regarded the government's lack of involvement in that process as a "serious problem." The government apparently took that advice to heart on Tuesday and brought those functions back under Transport Canada's responsibility.

Transport Minister John Baird made the announcement in Ottawa on Tuesday but he'd hinted it was coming in December. "I do not support outsourcing safety testing or safety monitoring to the private sector. I think it is an important core responsibility of government and my department," he said in a statement in the House of Commons at the time. The government won't take over the functions until April of 2011 to allow for a transition period.