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TSB to study risks associated with air taxi operations

By COS staff

Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) will launch an in-depth safety issues investigation into the risks that persist in air taxi operations across Canada.

The air taxi sector of the aviation industry has seen 175 deaths over the last 10 years, representing 65 per cent of all commercial aviation fatalities.

"We'll be analyzing historical data and case studies of selected accidents in Canada as well as occurrences from other nations," said Kathy Fox, chair of the TSB. "We'll also be engaging industry, the regulator and other stakeholders in the coming months to gain a full understanding of the issues affecting air taxi operations."

Air taxi operations refer to single and multi-engine aircraft (other than turbo-jet) that have a maximum certificated take-off weight of 19,000 pounds or less, and a seating configuration, excluding pilot seats, of nine or less. Over the past 10 years, the TSB has repeatedly drawn attention to critical safety issues that contribute to accidents. These findings include recurring issues such as inadequate risk analysis of operations, crew adaptations from standard operating procedures, pilot decision-making and deficiencies in operational control, especially in self-dispatch operations.

The investigation is broad in scope and involves looking at multiple occurrences in order to identify the underlying safety issues, and the board may make recommendations to address any identified systemic deficiencies. The study will begin early in 2015.

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