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Transport Canada’s  Prairie and Northern Region (PNR) Issues letter
Purporting to Limit Class D Operations

For reasons that are unclear, PNR recently issued the attached letter to all PNR Helicopter AOC holders.  Late last week my phone started ringing from operators affected by the new limitations.  The undated letter imposed conditions and limitations on Class D that are not set out in a plain-language reading of the Regulations or Standards. It was clear to HAC that the limitations contained in the letter went beyond the CARs and Standards, and were therefor beyond (or Ultra Vires) the Department’s Statutory authority.

That is, Departmental staff can only issue Guidance or Circulars when they are supported by the words of the Regulations or Standards.  Furthermore, the letter was only delivered to selected AOC Holders – and not to others.   In an area of Federal Jurisdiction, operators should be able to rely on the same set of Operational rules in all parts of the country. After consulting a draft letter through a number of operator-members, HAC delivered the attached letter to Transport Canada’s Director Standards. 

Operators are entitled to comment on proposed changes to the regulations and standards, so that they can make informed business decisions, in advance – and not on the basis of a letter from the region.  HAC will communicate the response from Transport Canada on this important issue, as soon as it is received.   In the meantime, operators with questions should contact fred.jones@h-a-c.ca.