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Flight Operations: One Size Fits All?

The rate of movement toward change at ICAO could be likened to climbing a greased pole.


October 2, 2007
By John R. Scott

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This column has over the last three years dealt with aspects of
training, 704 and 705 operators and the state of that portion of the
industry. The unique aspects of the Canadian business-aircraft industry
have not previously been addressed, but consistent with the theme of
this issue, concerns about security and corporate aircraft operations
are presented.

The ‘one size fits all’ header to this column is a polite jab at the
view of airport operations security towards the ‘users’. International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 17 (Security), the basic
document from which all countries draw their minimum standards or
initiate appropriate waivers unique to each country does not contain
any specific reference to general aviation. There are no applicability
provisions with respect to the type of operations or size of aircraft.
The fallout is that all provisions pertaining to ‘operator’ apply to
all aircraft types be they private or commercial – down to the smallest
recreational aircraft including gliders!

The rate of movement
toward change at ICAO could be likened to climbing a greased pole.
Annex 17 was originally intended to apply its operator provisions to
‘commercial operators’. The trouble is that ICAO member states have
continued to find it very difficult to implement the security
regulations and will suffer a significant compromising due to the lack
of clarity regarding application of the regulations.

Post
9/11/01, ICAO cleaned a considerable amount of grease off the pole by
initiating highlevel meetings; the trouble was, while member states
knew they had to introduce significant changes in their security
operations, most countries didn’t know how to do what! The result was
the implementation of ‘shotgun’ rules that led to wide discrepancies or
untenable policies facing the CBAA and COPA.

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