In accordance with the recommendations in Annex 19 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Transport Canada has published a state safety program (SSP). Annex 19, Safety Management, was originally released in 2013 and contains the basis for an SSP intended for adoption by the organization’s member countries.
Canada’s SSP follows ICAO guidance very closely, grouping its components into four categories: safety policy; safety risk management; safety quality assurance; and safety promotion. The plan is designed to apply to all private and commercial operators, maintenance personal and facilities, flight and ground training companies, airframe and component manufacturers, and airport operations.
One of the most important elements of the SSP is its emphasis on operators having a safety management system (SMS). Over the last decade, Transport Canada has been applying SMS requirements to segments of its regulated companies in the aviation, marine, and rail sectors.
While Canada strives to be compliant with Annex 19 requirements, the SSP concedes that “more work is needed to support SMS adoption by other [than commercial] operators” even though many have voluntarily adopted SMS programs. Currently, SMSs are required for airline, commuter, and most air taxi operators, but are only recommended for private aircraft operators.