Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 155, Number 10: ORDERS IN COUNCIL
March 6, 2021
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Order Approving the Interim Order Respecting Certain Training Requirements (B-737-8 and Other Aircraft), No. 3
P.C. 2021-97 February 26, 2021
His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsection 6.41(2) footnote a of the Aeronautics Act footnote b, approves the Interim Order Respecting Certain Training Requirements (B-737-8 and Other Aircraft), No. 3, made by the Minister of Transport on February 15, 2021.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
On January 18, 2021, pursuant to paragraph 6.41(1)(a) of the Aeronautics Act, the Minister of Transport issued Interim Order Respecting Certain Training Requirements (B-737-8 and Other Aircraft) [IO] related to the training program requirements for the return to service of the Boeing 737-8 (B-737-8, commonly referred to as the B-737 MAX) aircraft in Canada. Subsequent IOs were made on February 1, 2021, and February 15, 2021. The Order Approving Interim Order Respecting Certain Training Requirements (B-737-8 and Other Aircraft), No. 3 would, pursuant to paragraph 6.41(2) of the Act, extend the validity of the requirements of the third IO for one year, until February 15, 2022.
The objective of the IO is to support a safe return into service strategy for the B-737-8 aircraft. More specifically, the IO
- (1) Requires operators of B-737-8 aircraft to incorporate the requirements outlined in Transport Canada's Operational Evaluation report for the B-737-8 (subparagraphs 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 9.6 and 10.5, and Appendix 7) into their training programs, which must be approved by the Minister of Transport;
- (2) Specifies that an air operator may not authorize pilots operating the B-737-8 to perform training, ferry and positioning flights, unless those pilots have completed all elements of their approved training program;
- (3) Specifies that, if the Minister determines that an air operator's pilot training program approved under section 705.124 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), or a training program developed under Part VI, Subpart 4, Division X — Training Program, no longer contains all the competencies required, the Minister may issue a notice to the air operator outlining the corrective actions required and the date on which the updated program must be submitted.
The B-737-8 is the fourth generation of the Boeing 737. This commercial aircraft was certified by the United States on March 8, 2017. To date, Boeing has delivered approximately 400 of these aircraft worldwide.
The B-737-8 was involved in two serious fatal accidents (Lion Air, October 29, 2018; and Ethiopian Air, March 10, 2019) resulting in the death of 346 people. While multiple factors led to these accidents, both crashes shared a key contributing factor: a new software system called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which Boeing developed to address stability issues in certain flight conditions induced by the plane's new, larger engines. On March 13, 2019, the Minister issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) under section 5.1 of the Aeronautics Act imposing an immediate closure of Canadian airspace to all B-737-8.
Boeing, as the aircraft manufacturer, has developed a modification package to address the safety risks identified by these accidents. The four major certification authorities (i.e. Transport Canada [TC], the United States [U.S.] Federal Aviation Authority [FAA], the Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority [ANAC], and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency [EASA]) have been working towards a coordinated recertification and validation of the B-737-8 design changes and operational requirements to establish common training requirements and support a safe and globally aligned return to service of the aircraft.
When a new aircraft type is introduced, or significant changes are made to an existing aircraft type, TC may conduct an evaluation to establish the applicable pilot qualifications and operational requirements specific to that aircraft type. At the completion of the evaluation, TC normally publishes an Operational Evaluation (OE) report that documents the pilot qualifications (training, checking and currency) and operational requirements to support the safe operation of a particular aircraft type in Canada.
Pursuant to section 705.124 of the CARs, Canadian air operators are required to establish and maintain training programs for aviation personnel, including pilots, flight attendants, and flight dispatchers. Training programs must be approved by the Minister in accordance with the CARs. Also, per subsection 705.106(1) of the CARs, no air operator may permit a person to act as the pilot-in-command unless they have fulfilled the requirements of the air operator's training program.
However, TC does not have the regulatory authority to mandate operators to comply with an OE report, which has been identified as a gap in the CARs. In spite of the regulatory gap, all implicated air operators in Canada have submitted a revised training program that has been approved by the Minister, incorporating the necessary elements of the OE report for the B-737-8. The IO is a temporary legal instrument that sets out TC's expectations, requirements for additional training for crew members, and provides clarity and certainty to the industry. It also provides a mechanism to require additional training program changes in the future, if required.
On January 18, 2021, Transport Canada issued an Airworthiness Directive for the B-737-8, which outlines the required modifications to be made to the aircraft prior to a return to service in Canadian airspace. To provide additional assurances that all measures are in place, an IO that clearly indicates Transport Canada's expectations and requirements for additional training for crew members was also issued for operators. It is complementary to the design and maintenance requirements of the Airworthiness Directive.
The Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for certifying the B-737-8 aircraft. Other leading certification authorities, including Canada and EASA, are responsible for conducting their own independent review of the aircraft certification process in order to determine whether they will validate the certification. A validation process can only be completed once the aircraft has been certified by the State of Design, in this case, the United States.
On November 18, 2020, the United States released an airworthiness directive for the B-737-8 mandating its approved changes, and confirmed it could return to service in U.S. airspace. On December 4, 2020, Transport Canada aviation safety experts completed their review and validated the design changes. This validation was an important first step in the eventual return to service of the aircraft in Canadian airspace. However, the return to service is complex, and comprehensive safety plans that require additional aircraft changes, maintenance and training must first be in place.
Throughout the review and certification/validation process, Canada has conducted a number of independent tests and reviews, and has participated in testing with other authorities. It is a common practice for countries to impose additional training if they deem it necessary. As a result of those tests and reviews, Canada identified additional training requirements that Canadian air operators needed to meet in order to operate in Canada. Specifically, the Canadian design changes for the B-737-8 include an enhanced flight deck procedure that provides the option for a pilot-in-command to disable a loud and intrusive warning system (commonly called the "stick shaker") when the system has been erroneously activated by a failure in the angle of attack sensor system. This feature helps to reduce pilot workload given what has been learned from the two tragic accidents, and has been fully evaluated by Transport Canada's flight test pilots. EASA has also imposed this additional requirement. There are also differences in training, including required training on the enhanced flight deck procedure and runaway stabilizer training done on flight simulators, as well as additional speed trim and full stall demonstrations during training.
As per subsection 6.41(1.2) of the Aeronautics Act, the Minister has consulted with the operators (i.e. Air Canada, WestJet, and Sunwing) and pilot unions (i.e. Air Line Pilots Association [ALPA], Air Canada Pilots Association [ACPA], and Unifor) on the content of the IO. No concerns have been raised during these consultations.
Transport Canada Civil Aviation