ALPA Canada Board President Addresses Safety, Security Concerns with Parliament

April 27, 2010 - ALPA Canada Board president Capt. Dan Adamus (JAZ) today discussed Safety Management Systems (SMS) and the Association’s top security concerns with members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities (TRAN). Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and a motion adopted on March 25, the Committee has commenced a study to assess aviation safety and security in Canada.

“ALPA has embraced SMS as the next great leap forward in advancing aviation safety,” said Adamus. However, he also noted that ALPA supports Transport Canada’s decision to delay implementation of SMS for 703 and 704 operators.

“It is a relatively simple matter to legislate the requirement for an SMS, but you cannot legislate the cultural change required for an effective SMS,” Adamus explained. “Therefore, taking the extra time for education, encouragement, and mentoring of these operators will be beneficial in the long term, as ALPA believes a voluntary, confidential, and nonpunitive reporting program is an essential element of an effective SMS.”

The ALPA Canada Board president talked to the members of Parliament about behavioral recognition techniques, a vital element of aviation security screening; ALPA’s objection to the recent 50 percent increase in the Air Travelers Security Charge to recover the additional cost of heightened security; and cargo security funding to bridge the stark gap between the security afforded passenger operations and that protecting all-cargo operations.

Today’s hearing was one in a series to collect information from airline industry stakeholders as part of the TRAN study. “ALPA has been monitoring your hearings and listening carefully to the opinions and positions of the various organizations and individuals who have appeared before you,” Adamus noted. “Although we do not always agree on the solutions, I am pleased to see your continuing efforts to enhance aviation safety and security for all Canadians.”