News release

TSB Recommendations Will Reduce Approach and Landing Accidents

Gatineau, Quebec, 15 February 2013 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is encouraged by responses to its 2012 recommendations arising from its investigation into an approach and landing accident at the Chicoutimi/St-Honoré Airport in Quebec. In that accident, the aircraft crashed short of the runway while conducting a non-precision approach, killing the two crew members (see Investigation Report A09Q0203).

"This tragedy only further highlights the need for critical improvements, and we're pleased to see that our recommendations are helping bring Canada in line with international standards," said Wendy Tadros, Chair of the TSB. (See the Watchlist.)

Today, Canadian pilots landing at airports conducting non-precision approaches use approach charts that depict a series of minimum altitudes to use when descending to the runway. Pilots approach the runway stepping down to each of these minimum altitudes. The Board found that these procedures could put aircraft at risk of approach and landing accidents.

TSB Recommendation A12-01 called for Transport Canada (TC) to require non-precision approach charts to show the optimum path, the stabilized constant descent angle (SCDA), pilots should use to safely descend to the runway. NAV CANADA, which is responsible for publishing approach charts, has advised that non-precision approach charts will soon depict the optimal vertical path to be flown. The Board rated the response to this recommendation as satisfactory intent (see the assessment of Recommendation A12 01).

The Board's second recommendation, A12-02, called for Transport Canada to require the use of SCDA approach techniques by Canadian operators in the conduct of non-precision instrument approach procedures. In response, TC is proposing short, medium and long-term measures to encourage Canadian operators to adopt the SCDA technique. The Board rated the response to this recommendation as satisfactory intent (see the assessment of Recommendation A12-02).

A guide to the TSB's rating system and the full text of the TSB recommendations are posted on the TSB website.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053