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Position: Air Canada Pilots Association supports independent Canadian safety review of B-737 Max

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) supports Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s commitment that Canada will conduct an independent validation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. This commitment affirms ACPA’s position that Canadian regulatory authorities must take proactive actions to ensure the safety of the Canadian traveling public.

“ACPA’s view, since the outset, is that the Canadian government must ensure independent oversight over aircraft certification and safety,” said Captain Mike McKay, MEC Chair. “We were pleased to see Minister Garneau commit to keeping the 737 Max grounded until Canada has completed an independent validation of the safety of the aircraft, to ensure that all concerns have been addressed.”[1]

In ACPA’s view, this independent validation, carried out by Canadian authorities, should include three important components: reviews of recertification, training, and transparency.

Recertification

The FAA has a history of delegating the certification of aircraft, through the Organization Designation Authorization program, to manufacturers, reviewing their work after the fact. This is very concerning to ACPA and significantly weakens what should be an important safety process.

ACPA is pleased that Minister Garneau has indicated that Canada will conduct its own approval and validation process. We believe that this should be regular practice on all aircraft going forward, rather than employing the existing Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness agreement which allows FAA-certified aircraft certification in Canada.

“When that software change is ready, which is a number of weeks, we will in Canada – even if it is certified by the FAA – we will do our own certification,” (Garneau) said.
Source: Associated Press via https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/20/canadian-european-regulators-to-do-own-review-of-boeing-jet/

“From our point of view, if we all work together and we all reach the same aim, fine. If we don't, we'll choose our own time to decide when the planes are safe to fly again," Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau told Reuters in an interview.
"The number one focus for us is that we in Canada must be satisfied. It doesn't matter what others do. So if we are not perfectly synchronized with certain other countries that's how it’s going to be," Garneau said.
Source: Reuters via https://www.voanews.com/a/canada-europe-to-choose-when-737-max-is-safe-as-regulators-meet/4928419.html

Training

Future training on the B-737 Max aircraft in Canada should include simulator training that incorporates all systems and equipment which exist in the physical aircraft pilots will be flying; no system or software present in the aircraft should be omitted from the simulator. Furthermore, training should include potential scenarios which could involve all aircraft systems or equipment.

Transparency

Boeing’s lack of transparency in deploying the 737 Max aircraft has been widely reported on. Transparency is required to rebuild the trust that has been lost. ACPA calls on the government to ensure that Boeing fully discloses why it developed and deployed the MCAS system without properly notifying regulatory authorities, operators, and pilots, of the system’s inclusion.

This press release was sourced from Air Canada Pilots Association on 13-Jun-2019.