Canada Issues Regs to Make Offshore Helicopters Safer

Lisa Raitt, the country's minister of transport, announced them Nov. 17 and said stakeholders have 30 days in which to submit comments.

Lisa Raitt, Canada's minister of transport, has proposed new regulations to increase the safety of offshore helicopter operations in Canada. These regulations will:

  • prohibit offshore helicopter operations when weather or water conditions make ditching in the water unsafe;
  • require operators to carry emergency underwater breathing apparatus for each passenger aboard offshore flights; and
  • require all crew members to wear a water immersion survival suit specifically designed for crew.

"Our government is committed to strengthening aviation safety for all Canadians," Raitt said. "We have worked closely with the aviation community to develop these new regulations, which will improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations for both passengers and crew."

The proposed regulations follow recommendations from the Transportation Safety Board about safe ditching, underwater breathing apparatus, and submersion suits. Raitt's department reported it is working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency to develop a coordinated international approach on helicopter main gearbox design requirements.

Stakeholders will have a 30-day consultation period to comment on the proposed regulations before they are finalized.

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