< Browse more articles

Recently, a number of members have brought to my attention the operation of a couple of US Ex-Military aircraft in Canada – ostensibly, under the terms of NAFTA’s Specialty Air Service (SAS) provisions.  Oddly, the FAA first approves NAFTA operations in Canada by US operators, and a superficial review of the application takes place by Canadian authorities before their approval is provided.

Three or four times each year, the NAFTA SAS operation of US aircraft in Canada is brought to HAC’s attention – and most times the operations that are being carried out are legitimate – but once every few years, they are not, and the operator is asked to leave the country.  Most recently, however, Transport Canada acknowledged that the aircraft were ex-military, but that they had extended an exemption to them to operate in Canada. HAC articulated its concerns in a number of phone calls, and a written submission to Transport Canada.

Operators have always been quick to point out how allowing ex-military aircraft to operate in Canada would devalue our fleet of Certified aircraft here in Canada. Furthermore, the decision would have far-reaching effects on OEMs, too, since so much of what we do here in Canada are SAS operations. When the matter was brought to the attention of the FAA by Transport Canada, the FAA acknowledged that an error had been made, and they withdrew their authorization to the US operator however, it is alarming that there is little due diligence carried out by TC on these applications, and furthermore that our regulator has not acknowledged that a Canadian exemption was issued improperly. Stay tuned to the HAC Newsletter for more, as this issue unfolds.