Transport Canada Advisory Circulars (AC) Subpart 2 (302) - Airports

January 2021, TCCA amended AC 302-031 Issue 01 and AC 302-032 Issue 01.

Both ACs, including other TC Documents they affect, are critical to airport operations requiring Airport Document Holders to comply with certain actions by the middle and late June (2021) respectively.

AC 032-032 primarily concerns Airports seeking to receive or maintain official Canadian designation as “International’, in accordance with all applicable domestic and international requirements. Subsequently, many Airports have recently lost their "International' designation and are now trying to re-establish themselves in this area for various reasons.

The term “international” in an airport name creates an expectation of the services available, such as, customs, immigration, health border and clearance services. Furthermore, the expectation extends to the types of facilities and level of service available typically available at an official port of entry. In short as AC 302-032 states:

As a signatory to the ICAO convention, Canada has an obligation under Article 10 to ensure that, subject to state regulations, aircraft entering and departing the territory do so from airports “...designated by the state for the purpose of customs and other examination”.

The intent of AC 032-031 is help Canadian publications align with international publication and aeronautical data requirements. For example, with the introduction of TP312 5th edition the application of the “standards” affecting airport certification changed from a 'design based concept' to an 'operational concept' (in TP312 5th) aligning the certification standards to the actual (or planned) operation, by linking the Standards to specific aircraft characteristics, aerodrome operating visibility condition, level of service (Precision, Non-Precision, Non-Instrument) etc., to the actual airport site. Thus complementing the Canadian airspace design criteria under TP308 Criteria for the development of airspace procedures and other regulatory requirements under Parts VI and VII of the CARs.

The above processes and changes identified within each respective AC is more than what TC states the AC is provided for i.e. 'information and guidance purposes'. True, there may be other alternate and acceptable means, but not the only means, of demonstrating compliance with regulations and standards: but it is my experience, following an AC is the easiest, fastest and expected method.

For further information, please contact Keith Green - President, QualaTech Aero Consulting Ltd.