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Flight Operations: The Civil Aviation Inspector

The Civil Aviation Inspector – is that an oxymoron? Are CAIs indeed civil?


October 3, 2007
By John R. Scott

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The Civil Aviation Inspector – is that an oxymoron? Are CAIs indeed
civil? Having been one, I hope that others in the aviation community
think as I do, that they are indeed civil. Not only that, but I feel
that across the board these men and women, whose duty is to regulate
the safety of Canadian aviation, are probably the most unsung people in
the industry.

At time of writing, the CAIs' union, the Canadian Federal Pilots
Association (CFPA), is in a salary and contract tangle with the
Treasury Board. The last wage settlement came into effect in October
1998 and included three incremental increases including a new category
for the ‘older' guys. In very general terms, it worked out to be about
3%. More on that later.

The important part of understanding another person's job is
understanding the areas of responsibility of that person. The more than
425 CAIs are categorized into five levels (CAI 1-5) excluding test
pilots and helicopter pilots. They are responsible for increasing
levels of management and cover areas such as inspection, aircraft
licensing and regulation, personnel, air carriers, aircraft operators,
airports and support facilities, certification, aviation legislation,
standards and compliance.