News release

Assessment of Transport Canada’s responses to recommendations to improve safety of children travelling by air

Gatineau, Quebec, 30 November 2015 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its assessments of Transport Canada’s (TC) responses to two TSB recommendations arising from the investigation (A12Q0216) into the crash of Perimeter Aviation Flight 993 in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, on December 22, 2012. These recommendations are aimed at making air travel safer for infants and children.

The first recommendation (A15-01) requires commercial air carriers to collect data, and report on a routine basis the number of infants (under 2 years old), including lap-held, and young children (2 to 12 years old) travelling. TC indicated that it is working to determine the best options for collecting this data, including a stakeholder consultation to be completed by March 2016. The Board has assessed this response with a rating of Satisfactory Intent.

“The actions proposed by TC constitute a first step in the right direction,” said Joseph Hincke, Member of the TSB Board. “However, efforts to enhance safety for infants and children will continue to be delayed until more detailed information is available on emerging trends about the carriage of children aboard aircraft.”

The second recommendation (A15-02) calls for TC to work with industry to develop age- and size-appropriate child restraint systems for infants and young children travelling on commercial aircraft and mandate their use to provide an equivalent level of safety compared to adults. In its response, TC said that it will explore ways to increase the range of child restraint systems approved for use in aircraft in the short term. In the medium term, TC is planning an awareness campaign focused on the risks to children travelling on commercial aircraft; and in the long term, it will initiate an in-depth regulatory examination into these issues next year. The Board has therefore assessed this response with a rating of Satisfactory Intent.

“The Board is encouraged that TC is planning to take some short and medium term actions while initiating an in-depth review of infant and child safety aboard aircraft in the future,” added Member Hincke. “Although the proposed actions may have some benefits, TC has not yet identified any specific solutions to ensure that infants and young children are provided with a level of safety comparable to adults.”

The Board uses an Assessment Rating Guide to evaluate the responses and their overall effectiveness. Progress made to address TSB recommendations is assessed by the Board and is reported publicly.

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