Canadian Seaplane PFD Regulations

In a previous post, we discussed regulations proposed by Transport Canada in May 2016, setting out changes to provisions in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (“CARs”) that govern commercial seaplane operations. The proposed changes arose from recommendations made by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada following a seaplane accident that occurred in November 2009, near Saturna Island, British Columbia.

The draft regulations incorporated a requirement that all passengers of commercial seaplanes be instructed to wear a personal flotation device (which may be “worn” in a pouch that is attached to the person’s waist).  Pilots would also be required to undergo specific training (and recurrent training every three years) to facilitate underwater egress after an accident occurs, and to further mitigate the risks associated with exiting a seaplane following an accident into water.

The Canadian government recently announced that the regulatory provisions governing personal flotation devices will come into force on September 6, 2020. The regulatory provisions governing the new pilot training requirements will come into force on March 6, 2022.

A copy of the amendments to the regulations can be accessed here.

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