Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Parts I, III and VI — RESA): SOR/2021-269

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 156, Number 1

Registration
SOR/2021-269 December 21, 2021

AERONAUTICS ACT

P.C. 2021-1027 December 17, 2021

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsection 4.3(2)footnote a and section 4.9footnote b and paragraphs 7.6(1)(a)footnote c and (b)footnote d of the Aeronautics Actfootnote e, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Parts I, III and VI — RESA).

Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Parts I, III and VI — RESA)

Amendments

1 The definitions ASDA or accelerate-stop distance available and TODA or take-off distance available in subsection 101.01(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulationsfootnote 1 are replaced by the following:

ASDA or accelerate-stop distance available
means, in respect of a runway, the length of the take-off run available plus, if a stopway is provided, the length of the stopway declared available by the operator of the aerodrome; (ASDA ou distance accélération-arrêt utilisable)
TODA or take-off distance available
means, in respect of a runway, the length of the take-off run available plus, if a clearway is provided, the length of the clearway declared available by the operator of the aerodrome; (TODA ou distance de décollage utilisable)
2 (1) Subpart 2 of Part III of Schedule II to Subpart 3 of Part I of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after the reference “Section 302.504”:

Column I

Designated Provision

Column II

Maximum Amount of Penalty ($)

Individual Corporation
Subsection 302.600(5) 3,000 15,000
Subsection 302.601(2) 3,000 15,000
Section 302.603 3,000 15,000

(2) Subpart 2 of Part III of Schedule II to Subpart 3 of Part I of the Regulations is amended by striking out the reference “Subsection 302.601(2)” in column I and the corresponding amounts in column II.

3 Section 300.01 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

RESA or runway end safety area
means an area, adjacent to or on a runway that is intended to reduce the severity of damage to an aeroplane in the event that the aeroplane undershoots or overruns the runway; (RESA ou aire de sécurité d’extrémité de piste)

4 The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 302.505:

[302.506 to 302.599 reserved]

Division VI — Runway End Safety Area (RESA)
RESA — Obligations of Operator

302.600 (1) The operator of an airport shall ensure that a runway that is used for the take-off or landing of commercial aeroplanes engaged in a scheduled air service for the purpose of carrying passengers has a RESA that meets the requirements of section 302.602 if, according to the statistics referred to in subsection (2) or (3), the total of the number of passengers that are emplaned and the number of passengers that are deplaned at the airport is at least 325,000 per year during a period of two consecutive calendar years, the first period beginning the year in which this section comes into force.

(2) The statistics in respect of the number of passengers are as published by Statistics Canada in the Airport Activity Survey.

(3) If the statistics in respect of the number of passengers are not published or are incomplete, the statistics are those provided by Statistics Canada to the Minister.

(4) In the case referred to in subsection (3), if the threshold in respect of the number of passengers referred to in subsection (1) has been reached, the Minister shall notify the operator of the airport.

(5) The operator of an airport shall comply with the requirements of subsection (1)

  • (a) within three years of the day on which the statistics referred to in subsection (2) are published in respect of the last year of a period referred to in subsection (1); or
  • (b) within three years of the day on which the Minister notifies the operator under subsection (4).

(6) Despite subsection (5), if a new runway is first in operation after the threshold in respect of the number of passengers referred to in subsection (1) has been reached, the operator of an airport shall comply with the requirements of subsection (1) beginning on the day on which the runway is first in operation.

(7) If the total of the number of passengers that are emplaned and the number of passengers that are deplaned at the airport falls below 325,000 per year during any period of three consecutive calendar years after the day on which this section comes into force, the operator of an airport referred to in subsection (1) is no longer required to comply with the requirements of that subsection until the total of the number of passengers that are emplaned and the number of passengers that are deplaned at the airport is at least 325,000 per year during a period of two consecutive calendar years.

RESA — Obligations of Operator of a Listed Airport

302.601 (1) Despite subsection 302.600(1), the operator of an airport referred to in the table to this section shall ensure that a runway that is used for the take-off or landing of commercial aeroplanes engaged in a scheduled air service for the purpose of carrying passengers has a RESA that meets the requirements of section 302.602.

(2) The operator of an airport shall comply with the requirements of subsection (1) within three years of the day on which this section comes into force.

TABLE
Airport ICAO Location Indicator
Calgary International CYYC
Edmonton International CYEG
Halifax (Robert L. Stanfield International) CYHZ
Kelowna International CYLW
Montréal (Montréal — Pierre Elliott Trudeau International) CYUL
Ottawa (Macdonald-Cartier International) CYOW
Québec (Jean Lesage International) CYQB
Saskatoon (John G. Diefenbaker International) CYXE
Toronto (Lester B. Pearson International) CYYZ
Vancouver International CYVR
Victoria International CYYJ
Winnipeg (James Armstrong Richardson International) CYWG
RESA — Requirements

302.602 (1) A RESA shall have a minimum length of 150 m and shall conform to the requirements respecting location, characteristics and objects in the runway end safety area set out in 3.2 of Chapter 3 of the document entitled Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices, TP 312E, published by the Department of Transport.

(2) The operator of an airport may reduce the length of the ASDA, LDA or TORA in order to obtain the minimum length referred to in subsection (1).

(3) The minimum length referred to in subsection (1) does not apply if the operator of an airport installs an arresting system that is designed to stop an aeroplane in the event that the aeroplane overruns a runway and that conforms to the requirements regarding such a system set out in 3.2 of Chapter 3 of TP 312E.

(4) A RESA is not required before the starting point of the LDA if

  • (a) the runway is equipped with a serviceable precision approach path indicator (PAPI) or abbreviated precision approach path indicator (APAPI); or
  • (b) an instrument approach procedure with approved vertical guidance that is not restricted by a special authorization or an operations specification is available in respect of the runway.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4)(b), approved vertical guidance means glide slope deviation information provided to a pilot until the decision height is reached to assist in the carrying out of a three-dimensional instrument approach without a missed approach point, but in respect of a missed approach segment that begins at the decision height.

Notice to Minister

302.603 The operator of an airport shall notify the Minister, no later than 90 days before the end of the period referred to in paragraph 302.600(5)(a) or (b) or subsection 302.601(2), as applicable, of the manner in which the operator intends to comply with the requirements of subsection 302.600(1) or 302.601(1).

Ministerial Order

302.604 If the operator fails to comply with the requirements of subsection 302.600(1) or 302.601(1), the Minister is authorized to make an order requiring the operator to reduce the length of the ASDA, LDA or TORA by the length required to meet the minimum length of a RESA.

5 Section 302.601 of the Regulations and the heading before it are repealed.

6 Sections 302.603 and 302.604 of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

302.603 The operator of an airport shall notify the Minister, no later than 90 days before the end of the period referred to in paragraph 302.600(5)(a) or (b), as applicable, of the manner in which the operator intends to comply with the requirements of subsection 302.600(1).

Ministerial Order

302.604 If the operator fails to comply with the requirements of subsection 302.600(1), the Minister is authorized to make an order requiring the operator of an airport to reduce the length of the ASDA, LDA or TORA by the length required to meet the minimum length of a RESA.

7 Paragraph 601.23(1)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (a) it penetrates an airport obstacle limitation surface as calculated in accordance with Chapter 4 of the document entitled Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices, TP 312E, published by the Department of Transport;

8 Paragraph 602.96(3)(d) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (d) if the aerodrome is an airport or heliport, comply with any airport or heliport operating restrictions specified by the Minister in the Canada Flight Supplement or in a NOTAM;

Coming into Force

9 (1) Subject to subsection (2), these Regulations come into force on the day on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

(2) Subsection 2(2) and sections 5 and 6 come into force on the fourth anniversary of the day on which these Regulations are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: Runway excursions are a civil aviation safety hazard. A runway excursion occurs when an aircraft, taking off or landing, ends its course outside of the runway when completing the take-off or landing procedure. The characteristics of the land surrounding the runway contribute to the severity of an excursion. For example, a ravine is more likely to cause serious damage to an aircraft and injury to passengers, and inhibit the ability of emergency responders to perform their duties as compared to flat terrain.

The consequences of runway excursions are minimized by the presence of safety areas around the runway. Runway end safety areas (RESAs) are compact, level and obstacle-free areas located beyond each end of a runway. They are intended to minimize the severity of aircraft damage and likelihood of injuries and casualties resulting from the excursion and facilitate the intervention of emergency services in the event of an aircraft undershooting or overrunning the runway.

Description: The amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations (the Regulations or CARs) will require Canadian-certified aerodromes (airports)footnote 2 to extend their current safety area from the existing mandated 60 meters (m) [beyond the runway ends] to a minimum length of 150 m at the ends of runways that serve scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights. Canadian airports with an annual passenger threshold of at least 325 000 for two consecutive years will be subject to the amendments. In the event that it is not possible to increase the size of the existing safety area outside the runway, the amendments offer other options that provide an equivalent level of safety. The amendments are being imposed on existing runways that are not currently subject to the 150 m requirement in the fifth edition of the Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices (TP 312).

Rationale: The amendments mandate that RESAs be provided on more runways. In order to maximize the benefits of RESAs for the vast majority of air travellers and crews, the amendments target runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights located at the busiest Canadian airports rather than targeting every Canadian aerodrome. This approach would increase the safety of the travelling public and crews without imposing excessive costs on the aviation industry. The amendments will minimize the consequences of runway undershoots and overruns by reducing the severity of an estimated 6 events over 20 years. The monetized benefits of these runway excursion reductions are estimated at $4,981,482. The costs are estimated at $26,586,697, largely due to the implementation of RESAs at a single airport with unique physical characteristics.

The amendments are expected to introduce an administrative burden with estimated annualized costs of $196, or $6 per airport. The amendments are therefore considered an “IN” under the “One-for-One” Rule. None of the impacted stakeholders fall under the scope of the small business lens.

The amendments will mandate the implementation of RESAs at each end of a runway serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights at the busiest Canadian airports. By doing so, the amendments will further align the CARs with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard.

Issues

While some runway excursions result in minor or no consequences, other excursions do result in fatalities, serious injuries, substantial material damage, and air traffic disruptions.

Until early 2020, Canadian airports were experiencing consistent growth in the volume of air travellers, which translated into additional annual flights. A significant number of all aircraft accidents and serious incidents occur during take-off and landing. Many of these events involve a runway overrun or undershoot of the runway. As air traffic increases, it is expected that the exposure for runway undershoots and overruns will increase proportionately. More excursions would likely result in more injuries, fatalities, material damages, and air traffic disruptions.

Background

The Aeronautics Act provides the Minister of Transport with the authority to regulate safety and security in the aviation sector and for the travelling public. The CARs apply to all aspects of aeronautics, including aircraft, aerodromes and airports, licensing, training, airworthiness, flight rules, and air navigation services. Canadian airports and their respective runways are certified based on the requirements set out in TP 312, which is incorporated by reference into the Regulations.

A runway excursion refers to an incident that happens when an aircraft is taking off or landing and ends its course outside of the runway when completing the take-off or landing procedure. There are three types of excursions:

  • An undershoot occurs when an aircraft touches the ground prior to the runway when landing.
  • An overrun occurs when an aircraft ends its course beyond the end of the runway, either when aborting take-off or when landing.
  • A veer-off occurs when an aircraft exits the runway along the side.

The amendments cover excursions that happen prior to and beyond the runway, namely undershoots and overruns.

There are a variety of risks associated with the likelihood of runway excursions. They include, but are not limited to, the runway surface condition, the type of approach used and the fatigue level of the crew. An excursion is rarely the result of a single risk factor; rather, it is the result of a combination of various risk factors.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has investigated several accidents involving runway excursions and has recommended that Transport Canada require a number of airports in Canada to implement RESAs or a means that provides an equivalent level of safety. Runway overruns are one of the two issues currently listed on the TSB Watchlistfootnote 3 with respect to the air transportation system and have been cited several times as a critical safety issue posing a great risk to Canadians. The amendments will address in part the recommendations made by the TSB on runway overruns.

The following runway overruns were brought to public attention through media coverage:

  • On September 4, 2011, at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, during heavy rain, an Embraer EMB-145LR operated by Trans States Airlines LLC as United Express Flight 3363 landed on Runway 32. The aircraft went off the end of the runway with 3 crew members and 44 passengers on board. The costs associated with this accident were estimated at 2.8 million dollars, due to legal costs, flight delays, runway closures, and the damage done to both the aircraft and the runway.
  • On August 2, 2005, at the Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport, during heavy rain, an Airbus A340-313 operated by Air France as Flight 358 landed on Runway 24L. Unable to stop, the aircraft overran the runway and crashed into a ravine. The aircraft subsequently caught fire with 297 passengers and 12 crew members on board. All passengers and crew members were able to evacuate. However, a total of 12 individuals (2 crew members and 10 passengers) were seriously injured during the crash and the ensuing evacuation. Given the fact that it occurred in a highly trafficked airport, the excursion created a major national disruption to air travel.

Mitigation measures for runway excursions

In order to help prevent excursions from happening, Transport Canada has published guidance materialfootnote 4 on a variety of elementsfootnote 5 that were identified as contributing factors of past excursions. When followed by the industry, this guidance material contributes to lowering the likelihood of runway excursions.

Although the likelihood of excursions can be decreased, it cannot be totally eliminated. This is where the amendments come into play: they mandate that measures be put in place to minimize the consequences of an excursion, which vary according to the type of terrain that is found at the ends of a runway. For instance, compared to a flat area, an irregular area (e.g. a ravine) is more likely to cause serious damage to an aircraft and injury to passengers, while inhibiting the ability of emergency responders to perform their duties.

Two types of safety areas are located along the sides and at the ends of runways: runway safety areas and RESAs. These are compact, level and obstacle-free areas intended to minimize the severity of injuries, to prevent fatalities, to minimize damages to the aircraft and to facilitate the intervention of emergency services in the event of undershoots and overruns.

The runway safety area comprises an area along the sides and ends of the runway, and includes the first 60 m beyond each end of a runway. This safety area is an international standard and is mandatory for all runways in Canada. Although it provides extra space for an aircraft to stop safely, the 60 m distance covered by the runway safety area minimizes the consequences of only 53% of runway excursions.

RESAs act as an extension of the already regulated runway safety area. They require the addition of 90 m to the current runway safety area, for a total safety area of a minimum length of 150 m at the ends of a runway. Based on Canadian data, this 150 m provides enough distance to contain 90% of runway excursions.

As a comparison, runway safety areas and RESAs are to aircraft what airbags are to cars: they will not prevent accidents from happening; however, they will reduce the likelihood of injuries and casualties resulting from accidents. By providing an additional distance for aircraft to safely stop, RESAs will also minimize the likelihood and severity of damage to the aircraft.

In an effort to further align Canadian requirements with the ICAO standard related to RESAs, the Government of Canada turned its RESA recommendation into a standard in the original version of TP 312, 5th edition (2015). This standard was found in section 3.2 of TP 312. However, the standard only applied to runways built after the standard came into effect. As a result, most runways are not currently subject to RESA requirements. The RESA applicability standard in section 3.2 of TP 312 5th edition was amended in early 2020 to read “where a runway end safety area is provided” in consideration of the upcoming inclusion of the RESA requirements in the CARs.

International standards and recommended practices relating to RESAs

International Civil Aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) are set by ICAO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, established by Member States in 1944. ICAO’s mandate is to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention).

SARPs require the provision of a RESA to minimize the risk of damage to aircraft during an overrun or undershoot of a runway. In 1999, the ICAO requirement of a 90 m RESA was introduced in addition to the required 60 m beyond the runway end, bringing the total required safety area beyond the runway end to 150 m. In addition to this standard, ICAO recommends extending the RESA from 90 m to up to 240 m — where possible — to bring the total safety area to 300 m.footnote 6 The following table details the current ICAO standards and recommendations. The ICAO standard is of 90 m for all runways (as applicable), while the recommendations vary based on the runway length and type.

Table 1 — International RESA Standards and Recommendations
Runway code Runway length Runway type International RESA standard table b1 note a International RESA recommendation table b1 note a
Code 1 Less than 800 m Instrument table b1 note b 90 m 120 m
Non-instrument table b1 note c 30 m
Code 2 800 m up to but not including 1 200 m Instrument 90 m 120 m
Non-instrument 30 m
Code 3 1 200 m up to but not including 1 800 m Instrument 90 m 240 m
Non-instrument
Code 4 1 800 m and over Instrument 90 m 240 m
Non-instrument

Table b1 note(s)

Table b1 note a

ICAO, Annex 14, Volume I — Aerodrome Design and Operations, 8th Edition, July 2018.

Return to table b1 note a referrer

Table b1 note b

Instrument runway means a runway equipped or to be equipped with electronic or visual air navigation aids adequate to an instrument approach procedure down to a height below 500 feet aerodrome / height above touchdown zone.

Return to table b1 note b referrer

Table b1 note c

Non-instrument runway is a runway intended for the operation of aircraft using visual approach procedures, or an instrument approach procedure down to a height above aerodrome / height above touchdown zone not lower than 500 feet.

Return to table b1 note c referrer

Canada is a signatory to the Chicago Convention and, as such, is expected to comply with ICAO’s standards, or to notify ICAO of its divergence from these standards.

Other countries, including the United States and the members of the European Union, have taken active measures to meet SARPs for RESAs.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States mandates runway safety areas — including RESAs, typically 1,000 feet (i.e. approximately 305 m), — for all certified runways, with the exception of Alaska, which only requires RESAs for runways serving aircraft with seating configurations greater than 30 passengers. The FAA program to improve all RESAs at commercial service airports was initiated in 2000.footnote 7 As of 2015, 96% of runways in the United States had reached compliance to the extent practicable. In 2014, the FAA established the Runway Safety Focus Airport Program to address hazards specific to individual airports.
  • The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions (2013)footnote 8 that contains practical recommendations and guidance materials, and local runway safety teams have been established at hundreds of airports across Europe. This concept was embedded as an essential requirement to the European Union “EASA Basic Regulation,” a key element in raising the safety level for runway operations at European airports.

In Canada, the overall number of runways where RESAs are provided is low, 9 airports currently fully comply, and 7 partially comply, as the introduction of the RESA standard is relatively recent (2015). With respect to RESA, Canadian airports are required to comply with the aerodrome standards and recommended practices in effect on the date on which the airport certificate was issued. As a result, airports are not required to implement RESAs.

Recognizing the extent to which RESAs improve the safety of runways, some Canadian airports have voluntarily implemented the international standard of 90 m for a total safety area of 150 m (e.g. Toronto Pearson International Airport), while other Canadian airports have implemented longer RESAs, for up to 240 m for a total safety area of 300 m, to meet the ICAO recommended practice (e.g. Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport).

Objective

The objectives of the amendments are to improve safety of air travel by reducing the adverse consequences of runway undershoots and overruns. These consequences include the following:

  • the severity of injuries and fatalities;
  • the severity of damage to aircraft and airport installations;
  • delays associated with the intervention of emergency services; and
  • disruption of airport operations and air travel while the runway is closed due to an excursion.

In addition, the amendments further align the requirements of the Regulations with the ICAO standard, while addressing the intent of the recommendation made by TSB.

Description

Airports and runway

These amendments amend Parts I, III and VI of the Regulations. The requirements will apply to aerodromes operating under an airport certificate (airports) that meet or exceed the minimum passenger threshold of 325 000 passengers per year for two consecutive calendar years. Only runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights will be subject to the amendments.

Airports reaching a minimum passenger threshold

Under the airport certification requirements stated in the original version of TP 312 5th edition (2015), RESAs were implemented based on the length of the runway, type of approach, and number of passenger seats on the aircraft using the runway. The amendments will replace these criteria with new criteria based on a minimum airport annual passenger threshold of 325 000. Military airports will not be subject to these amendments.

There will be a three-year implementation period for airports to comply with the Regulations. For airports that have already reached the threshold, included in a table in subsection 302.601(2) of the Regulations, the implementation period starts on the date these amendments are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. For other airports, the minimum airport annual passenger threshold must first be met for two consecutive calendar years following the publication of the Regulations at which point airports will then have three years to implement the required RESAs. The mandatory three-year implementation period is triggered for other airports upon the publication of passenger statistics relating to the second consecutive passenger threshold year as published by Statistics Canada in the Airport Activity Survey. There is also an obligation for the operator of an airport to notify the Minister of the manner in which the operator intends to comply with the requirements of subsection 302.600(1) or 302.601(1).

In either case, an airport operator would not be subject to RESA requirements after three consecutive calendar years of falling below the minimum passenger threshold of 325 000. Airport operators would only be required to comply with the RESA requirements again once the airport met the passenger threshold of 325 000 for two consecutive calendar years.

Runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights

The amendments will become mandatory for existing and new runways of all lengths at airports serving 325 000 or more passengers on scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights. Runways that are not serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights — such as runways exclusively serving cargo flights, pilot training flights and/or private flights — will not be subject to these amendments. If a new runway is first in operations after the threshold of 325 000 or more passengers has been reached, the operator of an airport shall comply with the requirements of subsection 302.600(1) beginning on the day on which the runway is first in operation.

Runway end safety areas

RESA compliance can be achieved through different ways, at the discretion of the airport operator. Available options are increasing the size of the safety area outside the runway, as per the required minimal length; adjusting the runway’s declared distances; installing an Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) or using a combination of increasing the runway safety area outside the runway and adjusting the runway’s declared distances.

Increasing the size of the safety area outside the runway

Providing an additional piece of terrain beyond existing levelled surfaces would increase the regulated safety area from 60 m to a minimum length of 150 m prior to and beyond the runway.footnote 9 This option would be adopted where there is sufficient land available at the ends of a runway.

Should this option be chosen, the piece of land located prior to and after the runway would need to meet the RESA requirements as stated in TP 312. This may require land filling, ground compacting and/or ground levelling. Obstacles present in the area would need to be removed. No modifications would be required to the runway itself.

Adjusting the declared distances of the runway

Reducing the declared distancesfootnote 10 available for take-off and landing distance requirements for runways would be a different option. Under this scenario, the runway declared distances available would be reduced by a maximum of 90 m per runway end. The airport operator may adopt this option where they have taken the business decision that such reduction has an acceptable or minimal impact on their operation with respect to their runway usage by critical aircraft. Critical aircraft are aircraft identified as having the most demanding operational requirements with respect to the determination of movement area dimensions, and other aerodrome physical characteristics at the aerodrome or part thereof.

If this option is chosen, the only action required on the part of the operator would be an amendment to the airport operations manual (AOM) and submission of the updated AOM to the Minister of Transport for approval. Once the declared distances are modified, pilots would adjust their calculations with regard to the distances required for take-off and landing (the distance needed varies depending on a variety of factors, including the type of aircraft and its weight, the weather [e.g. presence of rain, snow or wind]). In certain cases, the reduction of available distance may result in an adjustment of the aircraft weight, which is achieved through the reduction of either the number of passengers or the cargo load. In no circumstances would the reduction in available distance adversely affect aviation safety.

Installing an Engineered Materials Arresting System

Another option would be to install an Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS),footnote 11 which is a system designed to decelerate an aeroplane that is overrunning the runway. This installation, located outside the runway, covers the ground and is composed of energy-absorbing materials of selected strength, which reliably and predictably crush under the weight of the aircraft. When an aircraft rolls into an EMAS, the aircraft’s tires sink into the bed and the aircraft is decelerated by having to roll through the material. EMAS are built where limited land is available at the end of the runway. They are designed to stop an aircraft without causing major structural damage or resulting in major injuries to passengers. The length of these systems varies based on the critical aircraft. An EMAS can be costly to implement and must be repaired after an overrun. Until the repairs are completed, the associated runway would continue to be operated. In such a case, the airport operator would either temporarily adjust the runway’s declared distances or apply for a temporary exemptionfootnote 12 from the regulatory requirements.

The EMAS would need to meet the RESA requirements as stated in TP 312. This may require land filling, ground compacting and/or ground levelling as part of the installation of the EMAS. Since the EMAS is only required to be as wide as the runway, a piece of terrain would have to be prepared as a RESA on each side of the EMAS to ensure that the total area covered fully meets the RESA requirements (twice the width of the runway). No modifications would be required to the runway itself.

Combination of increasing the size of the safety area outside the runway and adjusting the runway’s declared distances

One last option would be a combination of the first two options described above. Under this option, should there be less than 90 m of land available at the end of a runway, a portion of the RESA would be defined by providing terrain outside the runway and the remainder of the 90 m RESA would be obtained by reducing the runway declared distances with the missing length. For instance, at one end of the runway, a terrain of 50 m could be prepared beyond the runway safety area while the remaining 40 m could be obtained by reducing the runway declared distances. The 60 m runway safety area at the end of the runway is included in the RESA, for a total of 150 m.

Regulatory development

Consultation

Transport Canada initiated consultations on RESAs with stakeholders in 2010. The purposes of these consultations were to inform stakeholders of Transport Canada’s intention to propose regulatory amendments related to RESAs and to solicit input, which is invaluable for policy design. Transport Canada also consulted airports on assumptions related to the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as well as on the cost estimates.

Policy design–related consultations

The initial approach (2010)

Transport Canada’s initial intent was to fully align with the international standards, as established by ICAO. This approach would have required a 150 m RESA at both ends of the following types of runways at land airports serving public transportation (which may include the runway safety area):

  • code 2 runways (between 800 and 1 200 m), if instrument landing systems are used (this system enables pilots to conduct an instrument approach to landing when visibility is low); and
  • all code 3 and 4 runways (1 200 m and more) regardless of the type of approach used.

A Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) was first presented during a three-day technical committee meeting of the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC) held from November 15 to 17, 2010, in Ottawa. On November 23, 2010, the NPA was officially sent to the CARAC members, who were provided with 30 days to comment. Twenty-one submissions were received during this first consultation, including but not limited to territorial governments, provincial governments, airport authorities, airlines and various associations.

The major concern expressed by stakeholders pertained to the proposal to extend the application of RESAs to northern and remote airports. Concerns expressed included the burden and logistics associated with RESA implementation, as well as the related costs and their expected adverse impact on airports operating within limited budgets.

Transport Canada considered the specific case of northern and remote airports by looking at how other federal regulations and funding programs accommodate northern and remote communities. In light of the findings, Transport Canada decided to exclude airports located north of the 60th parallel that only serve air carrier operations using small aircraft. The removal of the northern and remote airports excluded many airports from the initial proposal, all of them located in Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon.

Given that the inclusion of northern airports in the NPA had an important impact on all comments expressed as part of this consultation, including on the timelines and costs related to remote and northern airports, Transport Canada issued a revised NPA that excluded airports north of the 60th parallel.

A revised approach (2011)

A revised NPA was published on September 23, 2011, through the CARAC process. Stakeholders were provided 30 days to comment. The proposed requirements in this revised NPA were still in alignment with international standards, with the exception that airports located north of the 60th parallel and serving only commercial air services using small aircraft would not be subject to the RESA regulations.

Transport Canada received 19 responses from stakeholders, including but not limited to airport authorities, provincial and territorial governments, air carriers, and associations such as the Air Canada Pilot Association, the Northern Air Transport Association and the Air Transport Association of Canada. Of all the submissions received, only three (15%) indicated support for the proposed Regulations. The opposition expressed was largely related to the wide scope of application, the limited preliminary analysis performed by Transport Canada, and the anticipated implementation costs.

In order to better document the safety benefits associated with RESAs and understand the implementation challenges and impacts of RESAs raised by stakeholders, Transport Canada commissioned the Runway End Safety Area, Risk Assessment at Canadian airports. A survey questionnaire was distributed to Canadian airports across the country to gather accurate site-specific information about specific runway ends. Airport operators had five weeks to complete and submit the questionnaire. Responses were received from 150 out of 163 airports, yielding a response rate of 92%. In addition, subject matter expert (SME) workshops were held in 2014 in Halifax, Calgary, Montréal, and Ottawa to discuss the methodology for the RESA study. A total of 64 SMEs participated in the sessions. SMEs included representatives from airport operators, airlines, pilots, air traffic control and members of various aviation industry associations. SMEs discussed several concerns, including the expected effectiveness of RESAs, potential alternatives to RESAs and expected initial and ongoing costs, and concerns were expressed about a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

In accordance with the conclusions and recommendations of the Runway End Safety Area, Risk Assessment at Canadian airports, the general approach to RESAs was reviewed. As there was no particular risk pattern found with any of the risk factors analyzed (including the runway length), the criterion of the runway length was abandoned.

The final approach (2016)

On May 12, 2016, a revised NPA was published and sent to CARAC members, composed of 603 stakeholders at that time. A technical briefing was organized by Transport Canada with affected stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, on May 11, 2016, one day prior to the release of the revised NPA.

As the Runway End Safety Area, Risk Assessment at Canadian airports found that there was no obvious approach to mitigating the risk of runway excursions, Transport Canada decided to replace its previous approach — based on runway length, types of approaches and aircraft passenger capacity — with an exposure-based approach. As a result, the 2016 NPA proposed that RESA requirements be mandated for airports above a certain passenger threshold. The passenger criterion was chosen to maximize passenger exposure. In other words, mandating RESAs at runways located at the busiest airports would provide a greater level of safety for a high proportion of the air travellers, should they experience a runway excursion.

Four options were submitted, with thresholds from 200 000 to 1 000 000 passengers annually, corresponding to commercial air traveller coverage from 91.2% to 96.8%. Each option was presented with a list of airports that would potentially be impacted (ranging from 16 to 36). Stakeholders were consulted on the options, the implementation period, and the financial implications. Although a 90-day consultation period was initially granted, this period was extended to accommodate stakeholders.

In response to the NPA, 26 submissions were received from stakeholders, including but not limited to individual airports, provincial governments, industry associations, pilot associations, and airlines. Transport Canada carefully considered each submission received. The main concerns and comments received can be summarized as follows:

Application: Most airports favoured the option that excluded them. As a result, the option with the highest threshold (airports receiving more than a million passengers annually) ended up being the preferred option among these stakeholders. On the contrary, pilot associations preferred the option with the lowest threshold (airports receiving more than 200 000 passengers annually), since this option would apply to the largest number of airports.

Implementation period: Positions on the proposed three-year implementation period were varied and showed no consensus. Counterproposals from stakeholders included a two-, three-, and five-year implementation period.

Publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I (2020)

The proposed amendments were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on March 7, 2020, followed by a 30-day consultation period. On April 2, 2020, Transport Canada extended the consultation period until May 8, 2020, and stakeholders were notified through CARAC.

Transport Canada received 31 comments from 9 stakeholders. Comments were received from three airport operators, two airport councils, one territorial government, two pilot or airline associations and one air navigation service provider. No comments entirely opposed the proposed amendments, although one encouraged Transport Canada to consider other alternatives, such as newer technology and increased training. Four comments argued the proposed amendments did not go far enough; seven comments pertained to financial complications and challenges; seven comments pertained to the implementation timeline; eight comments pertained to specific situations (such as terrain characteristics), specific challenges (such as limited landmass) or questions (such as required maintenance) raised by airport operators; one comment supported the proposed minimum length of 150 m RESA; and four comments were unrelated to the proposed Regulations.

The main themes raised in the comments regarded the following:

  • International standards harmonization
  • Financial implications
  • Time constraints for the implementation of the Regulations
  • Passenger volume threshold
  • Snow accumulation

International standards harmonization

Both the Air Line Pilots Association and the National Airlines Council of Canada were supportive of aligning Canadian RESA requirements with international recommended practices. Both argued in favour of the benefits of aligning RESA requirements with the 300 m ICAO recommended best practices, given the risks associated with runway overruns. The National Airlines Council of Canada mentioned that runway overruns have been a safety concern identified by the Transportation Safety Board Watchlist. Stakeholders argue for the safety benefits of aligning with the full 300 meter recommended practices. One airport operator commented in support of the proposed minimum length of 150 m RESA.

Transport Canada responded by outlining that the established minimum length of 150 m RESA requirements have been selected in consideration of the ICAO international standard.

Financial implications

The costs and financial implications of the amendments have been a common concern for Canadian airports. Four stakeholders, the Jean-Lesage Quebec Airport, Yellowknife Airport, Billy Bishop Airport and the Canadian Airport Council, have expressed concerns with the financial costs of RESA compliance. The four stakeholders have argued that their current financial situation remains challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Complying with RESA requirements will be challenging for some stakeholders, which have seen a 90% decline in passenger traffic, according to both the Canadian Airport Council and Billy Bishop Airport.

Transport Canada acknowledges the costs associated with RESA compliance, in addition to the financial challenges faced by airports during the pandemic. However, other more cost-efficient alternatives have been proposed to stakeholders, including reducing runway declared distances. Although such alternatives may not be available to all stakeholders, such as Billy Bishop Airport, RESA compliance can often be met with no significant work, and with minimal cost.

Billy Bishop Airport outlined the financial challenges it faces in complying with RESA requirements due to its finite landmass, the surrounding marine environment and the inability to reduce or increase existing published declared runway distances. Billy Bishop discussed two implementation options: Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS)footnote 13 solution due to landmass limitations and landmass expansion to accommodate RESA. EMAS would be Billy-Bishop’s most cost-efficient option, evaluated at approximately $30–35 million. Billy Bishop commented that it will further explore the EMAS option before a final decision is made on a required landmass expansion.

Implementation timeline for RESA

Comments have differed in regards to the implementation timeline for RESA. While the Air Line Pilots Association argued the implementation period is too long, Billy Bishop and Yellowknife Airport indicated that they will be unable to comply with a two-year implementation timeframe. Reasons stated by the two airports for their inability to comply with the two-year timeframe included: climate challenges related to the length of the construction season, consultation and engagement period required under the Environmental Impact Assessment process, in addition to consultation with local stakeholders, environmental studies, and lack of revenue due to COVID. The Canadian Airport Council indicated that airports are seeking a five-year implementation phase to comply with RESA, while NavCanada urged Transport Canada to extend the deadline to three years.

To address these comments, the implementation timeline was changed from “3-years of data collection and 2-years to comply” to “2-years of data collection and 3-years to comply”. The airports will be subject to RESA once they reach the 325 000-passenger threshold for two consecutive calendar years, starting on the day on which these regulations are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Those airports on the list in subsection 302.601(2), which are already over the 325 000-passenger threshold would be given three years to comply (an increase of one year), beginning on the day on which these regulations are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. This approach responds to stakeholder comments by giving airport operators who do already meet the passenger threshold more time to plan, review and approve the construction of RESA.

Passenger volume threshold

The Air Line Pilots Association has previously expressed support for a 200 000-passenger threshold. They argued that the proposed 325 000-passenger threshold would exclude many airports, leaving pilots and smaller airports at an ongoing risk.

Transport Canada responded by stating that the revised list of 12 airports above the 325 000 passenger volume threshold in 2020 has been established by a risk assessment study and will cover over 86% of pre-COVID scheduled passenger enplaned and deplaned numbers in Canada.

The National Airlines Council of Canada has suggested that RESA be mandatory for new runway constructions and where existing runways are being modified. Transport Canada responded by stating that a new runway would be subject to RESA on coming into service where the airport meets the passenger movement threshold of at least 325 000 passengers annually for two consecutive calendar years.

Snow accumulation

Specific challenges relating to the accumulation of snow has been brought up by the Jean-Lesage Quebec International Airport. Transport Canada responded to the stakeholders concern by clarifying that no regulation obliges operators to remove snow from RESA, although other obligations are in place pertaining to airport winter maintenance.

Changes made following prepublication

Following the prepublication of these proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I, the following minor changes were introduced:

  • Subsection 302.601(2) of the Regulations was modified to amend the list of the airports that will be required to comply with the RESA regulations. The previous list published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, contained 28 airports. The amended list contains the following 12 airports: Toronto LBP (CYYZ), Vancouver (CYVR), Montreal (CYUL), Calgary (CYYC), Edmonton (CYEG), Ottawa (CYOW), Winnipeg (CYWG), Halifax (CYHZ), Kelowna (CYLW), Quebec (CYQB), Victoria (CYYJ) and Saskatoon (CYXE). These airports are given three years to comply with the RESA regulations, starting on the day of publication of the Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part II. For the airports that are no longer on the list, the passenger volumes decreased during 2020–2021 due to a significant drop in air travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once an airport reaches again the threshold of at least 325 000 passengers per year during any period of two consecutive calendar years, the requirement under subsection 302.600(1) will apply.
  • The implementation timeline of the Regulations was changed from “3-years of data collection and 2-years to comply” to “2-years of data collection and 3-years to comply”.
  • Additional minor editorial changes were made to these Regulations after the publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in order to ensure clarity and conciseness. For example, under paragraph 602.96(3)(d) the term “heliport” was added, and under subsection 302.602(5), the word “scope” was replaced by “slope”.
  • Additionally, under subsection 302.600(7), a clarification was provided about the link between this subsection and subsections 302.600(1) and 302.600(5). Once an airport reaches again the threshold of at least 325 000 passengers per year during any period of two consecutive calendar years, the requirement under subsection 302.600(1) will apply; and subsection 302.600(5) will continue to apply to the operators of an airport requiring them to comply with subsection 302.600(1) within three years . . . .
  • Changes to the cost-benefit analysis since prepublication include:
    • As some airports within the scope of the Regulations have constructed RESAs since the prepublication, the baseline scenario was adjusted to reflect this.
    • The uninflated base figure for the Value of Statistical Life (VSL) used to monetize the avoided injuries was adjusted from $7.8M in 2007$ (The Value of Statistical Life: Estimates used in Transport Canada’s Social Cost of Collision Model) to $6.5M in 2007$ (Value required by the Treasury Board Secretariat).
    • Passenger projections were updated to include possible COVID-19 recovery scenarios.
    • The price year of the analysis was updated from 2017$ to 2020$.
    • The analytical timeframe was updated from 2019–2038 to 2021–2040.

Consultations post-publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I

Transport Canada conducted informal consultations and update sessions on the RESA amendments with the Canadian Airports Council (CAC), the Regional Community Airports of Canada (RCAC), and some individual airports in 2020 and early 2021. During these sessions, stakeholders were informed of the changes between the publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the Canada Gazette, Part II. Modifications to the amendments address stakeholder concerns by providing airport authorities with more time to plan for RESA implementation.

COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the aviation industry and taken a financial toll on airport operators. Airport operators have expressed concerns about their ability to undertake significant projects due to the financial impacts caused by the pandemic. To reflect the challenges experienced by the industry due to the pandemic, the Cost-Benefit Analysis section considers COVID-19 recovery scenarios in the sensitivity analysis.

Additionally, the previous list published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, contained 28 airports, while the amended list contains 12 airports. The changes in the published list are explained by the significant drop in air travel in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many airports to fall below the 325 000-passenger volume threshold. Once an airport reaches again the threshold of at least 325 000 passengers per year during any period of two consecutive calendar years, the requirement under subsection 302.600(1) will apply.

Despite the pandemic, stakeholders were supportive of the RESA amendments as presented for the Canada Gazette, Part II, publication.

Cost-benefit analysis–related consultations

Preliminary estimate of costs and benefits (2010)

Transport Canada conducted a preliminary estimate of the potential costs and benefits of requiring some code 2 runways (between 800 m and 1 200 m) and all code 3 and 4 runways (1 200 m and over) in Canada to install 90 m RESAs. To do so, a questionnaire was sent to 211 airports across the country, which incorporated all provinces and territories. Transport Canada received an 80% response rate, which yielded data about 534 runway ends. Airport operators provided data on the presence of RESAs at their runway ends and on the expected costs of building RESAs where they did not already exist. This preliminary estimate provided a rough magnitude of the costs based on airport operators’ experience and their understanding of the RESA requirements at that time.

Sample outreach exercise (2016)

In an effort to refine the cost estimates provided by airport operators in 2010, Transport Canada contacted 36 airports to provide them with additional information. Transport Canada’s review of stakeholders’ cost estimates revealed that the RESA specifications were not well understood, leading stakeholders to inadvertently inflate their estimated costs to implement RESAs. In truth, RESAs are not required to meet the same construction standards as runways (in other words, RESAs can be natural compacted open areas such as soil, grass, etc.).

Consultation on cost-benefit analysis–related assumptions and inputs (2017–2018)

Following the 2016 sample outreach exercise, Transport Canada conducted a further round of stakeholder consultations in 2017 and 2018. These consultations were limited to airports that were expected to meet the passenger threshold over the following 20 years. As a result, 37 airports received a renewed survey, which focused on cost inputs for a more uniform approach to calculating costs.

The July 2017 survey asked 36 stakeholders (one was asked in early 2018) to answer the following questions in relation to the proposed additional 90 m RESA for their respective runways: to confirm whether there were any obstacles within the area; to specify the current surface type (gravel, grass, asphalt or other); to indicate the slope of the ground; and to specify whether further work would be required to implement 90 m RESAs to their runway. The questionnaire sent to these airports is reproduced below in Table 2.

Table 2 — 2017–2018 Consultation template for the purposes of the CBA
Runway number Is 90 m available for a potential extension/development of a runway end safety area on both ends? Any obstacles currently in the 90 m beyond the runway strip? Current surface type beyond the runway strip end? (Gravel, grass, tarmac, etc.) Is the ground slope beyond the runway strip end within 0 to 5%? Indicate the ground-slope if it is more than 5%. Does anything else have to be done to comply with RESAs? State nature of the work required. Any other comments on the RESA potential extension.
RWY 16 Yes No Grass Yes No This is an example

The data collected was validated by Transport Canada experts who investigated the responses using satellite imagery and further discussed with stakeholders when necessary.

For runways with 90 m of land available for an extension of the safety area beyond the runway ends, without existing obstacles, composed of an acceptable surface type, and a ground slope between 0% and 5%, the construction costs were estimated by Transport Canada aerodrome standards specialists at $0 since no construction would be required. In cases where RESAs would have to be constructed, the costs were calculated by using the length, width, and slope of the land that required processing to determine the volume of backfilling needed (m3) and the cost per unit (m3).

Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation, an analysis was undertaken to determine whether the amendments are likely to give rise to modern treaty obligations. This assessment examined the geographic scope and subject matter of the proposal in relation to modern treaties in effect, and after examination, no implications or impacts on modern treaties were identified.

Instrument choice

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

In 2010, Transport Canada first consulted with stakeholders to inform them of the intention of amending RESA requirements. Amendments to the RESA requirements seek to address the risks of runway excursions, which has been on the TSB Watchlist since 2010. Amending RESA requirements also seeks to further align the regulation with the ICAO international standard established in 1999. The options considered to amend the CARs and address the risks of runway excursions are outlined below.

OPTION 1: Status quo approach

If the CARs are not amended, there would be no obligation for airport operators to extend their current safety area beyond the existing mandated 60 m.

Status quo was deemed an unacceptable option as

  • (1) Transport Canada analysis of data for the period from 1990 to 2010 found that 90% of undershoots and overruns at Canadian airports are stopped within 150 m of the runway end;
  • (2) it would not address the risks of runway overrun as identified on the TSB Watchlist since 2010;
  • (3) it would not align Canadian regulations with ICAO standards established in 1999.

OPTION 2: Regulatory Approach — Three years to gather data, two years to comply

This regulatory approach established that airports with passenger volumes over 325 000 for three-consecutive years would be given two years to comply with RESA requirements. This option was originally in the prepublished Regulations, and was altered due to stakeholder comments requesting more time to plan and budget for the regulatory changes.

OPTION 3: Regulatory Approach — Two years to gather data, three years to comply

The option selected requires Canadian airports with an annual passenger volume threshold of at least 325 000 for two-consecutive years to comply with a minimum length of 150 m safety area at the end of runways serving scheduled commercial flights. Airports would then be given three years to comply with RESA requirements. This option was selected as it addresses stakeholder comments by giving airport boards more time to plan, review and approve the construction of RESA. This approach also aligns with the intent of the ICAO’s recommendation to capture a minimum of 90% of runway excursion events. According to Canadian data on runway excursions, 90% of excursions at Canadian airports are stopped within 150 m. Furthermore, this option was deemed the most appropriate as over 86% of passengers in Canada travel at airports with over 325 000 passengers annually.

Regulatory analysis

Benefits and costs

The proposed amendments will minimize the consequences of runway undershoots and overruns by reducing the severity of 6 events over 20 years. The benefits of these reductions are valued at approximately $4,981,482 over 20 years. Over 20 years, the implementation of the amendments will cost airport operators and the Government of Canada an estimated $26,586,697, with costs mainly borne by one airport with unique physical characteristics.

It is important to note that the estimation of the schedule of compliance with the amendments as well as the benefit quantification are based on projections of air passenger traffic over the analytical timeframe from 2021 to 2040. Given the major impact that COVID-19 has had on the air sector, there remains significant uncertainty in projecting air traffic in the short and long term. This analysis describes the benefits and costs in a mid-level air sector recovery scenario where broad immunity is reached towards the end of 2021, domestic traffic returns to pre-COVID-19 levels by mid-2024, and transborder as well as international traffic reaches pre-COVID-19 levels in 2025. A more optimistic recovery scenario and a more pessimistic recovery scenario are presented in the Sensitivity Analysis section.footnote 14

In the central analysis of these amendments, it is estimated that 34 airports will be in scope. There are 12 airports listed in the regulatory text, and an additional 22 airports that are projected to join this scope over the 20-year analytical timeframe due to passing the 325 000-passenger threshold for two consecutive calendar years.

Benefits

The benefits of the amendments would include safety benefits (reduced severity of damages to aircraft, reduced severity of injuries, avoided casualties, reduced levels of stress experienced by passengers and crew members during an accident, reduced severity of potential long-lasting impacts after the event) and efficiency benefits (reduced delays to passengers and to air operators; easier access for emergency services intervention; and avoided legal fees to airports, government, and air operators).

To estimate these benefits, historical excursions were analyzed. Between 2005 and 2016, a total of 73 runway undershoot and overrun accidents have been reported at the 34 relevant airports, on runways captured by the amendments. Overall, the reported excursions did not result in any fatalities and only caused minor injuries. There was only one excursion that caused substantial damage to an aircraft, while all other excursions resulted in minor damage or no damage at all.

The excursions analyzed were not limited to excursions that occurred within 60 m to 150 m from the start of the runway for undershoots or within 60 m to 150 m beyond the end of the runway for overruns. In order to assess the incremental benefits that would result from the amendments, the number of excursions that occurred on runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights was reduced to represent only the excursions estimated to have stopped between 60 m and 150 m from the end of the runway using fractions from the previously referenced document entitled Runway End Safety Area, Risk Assessment at Canadian airports. It is projected that between the years 2021 and 2040, the amendments will reduce the severity of about 6 undershoots and overruns.

Safety benefits

By providing a longer area that is free of obstacles and accessible to emergency services at both ends of runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights, the amendments will reduce the adverse consequences of aircraft undershoots and overruns. This will translate into the following safety benefits:

  • minimized severity of damage to aircraft and to airport installations;
  • minimized risk of loss of life and/or injuries for passengers and crews; and
  • minimized levels of stress experienced by passengers and crew members during an incident, and reduced severity of potential long-lasting impacts after the event (post-traumatic effects).

Due to data scarcity, only some of the avoided damages to aircraft and avoided casualties are monetized. Over 20 years, using a 7% discount rate, the avoided aircraft damages are estimated at $4,317,679, the expected avoided injuries have an estimated value of $3,376, while the expected avoided fatalities are nil.

Efficiency benefits

The amendments will also yield the following efficiency benefits when an overrun or undershoot event occurs:

  • reduced delays to passengers and to air operators;
  • easier access for emergency services intervention; and
  • avoided legal fees to airports, Government, and air operators.

Transport Canada estimates the avoided delays due to a runway overrun or undershoot at $660,428 (including $583,665 to air passengers and $76,762 to air operators) over 20 years, discounted at 7%. Any direct benefits related to easier access for emergency services intervention and the avoided legal fees to airports, Government, and air operators were not quantified or monetized.

Costs

The costs that an airport would assume to implement RESAs at the ends of a runway serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights fall into three categories: construction costs, maintenance costs, and administrative costs. The Government of Canada will also bear minimal administrative and enforcement costs to ensure compliance with the amendments.

Construction costs to industry

Construction cost inputs were collected through consultations with airport operators. The first phase of consultation involved a presentation to stakeholders, a meeting with stakeholders and numerous telephone calls. Based on these preliminary consultations, it was not expected that airports would adopt an EMAS due to the significant procurement, installation, maintenance and replacement costs it represents.

The ensuing 2017–2018 consultations focused mainly on gathering costing inputs as well as physical characteristics for RESAs at all of the airports that would be directly captured by the amendments. The following information was collected:

  • the number of runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights at each airport;
  • the availability of an additional 90 m for a potential extension of the safety area on both ends;
  • the existence of obstacles on either end of the runway;
  • the current ground cover (gravel, grass, asphalt, etc.) in the 90 m; and
  • the slope of the ground.

Based on the responses to these 2017–2018 consultations, 23 of the 34 airports projected to be captured by the amendments were either deemed compliant or met the physical characteristics for RESAs, and had zero or negligible construction costs to become compliant. Nonetheless, the amendments will impose an estimated $26,343,321 (in present value using a 7% discount rate over 20 years) in construction costs to the remaining airports projected to be captured by the Regulations. Of the total construction costs, a single airport with unique characteristics would bear roughly $22,472,187 or 85% of the overall construction costs. Its physical characteristics place limitations on the extension of the safety area as well as the activities at this airport, including the use of sharper angles for take-off and landing and the inability to take off with a full load of passengers and/or cargo load when the runway is wet or contaminated (e.g. slush, snow).

Maintenance costs to industry

The maintenance costs include the costs for snow removal on an EMAS and/or cutting grass, as well as periodic sealant and top coat costs in the case of airports installing an EMAS. Since the vast majority of the airports are subject to Chapter 4 of TP 312 (Obstacle management), the incremental RESA costs for snow removal at the ends of the runway strips and cutting grass are expected to be negligible.

Administrative costs to industry

The AOM would require adjustment within the three-year period that is provided for RESA implementation. This manual specifies the standards that are met and the services that are provided by the airport. It is expected that each airport would spend two hours updating its AOM, and 30 minutes to review and send it to Transport Canada for approval. These tasks would be performed once per airport by airport operator management staff. The total administrative cost over a 20-year period would be $3,951 using a 7% discount rate.

Administrative and enforcement costs to Government

Compliance with the amendments will also result in administrative costs and enforcement costs for the Government of Canada.

Transport Canada will be responsible for reviewing and approving the AOM. The estimated incremental time spent reviewing and approving the AOM is expected to be minimal. Therefore, the amendments will result in negligible administrative costs to Government.

Enforcement costs would be borne by the regional operational staff who are responsible for oversight in areas where the subject airports are located. Since the Minister would be authorized to make an order requiring the operator of an airport to adjust the declared distances in the cases that it fails to comply with the amendments, full compliance is anticipated. No additional inspections to support the regulatory amendments are expected. Overall, expected costs to be incurred by the Government of Canada to ensure the regulatory compliance of the amendments will be negligible.

Cost-benefit statement

  • Number of years: 20 (2021–2040)
  • Base year for costing: 2020
  • Present value base year: 2021
  • Discount rate: 7%
Table 3 — Monetized costs (in Canadian dollars)
Impacted stakeholder Description of cost 2021 2024 2026 2040 Total (present value) Annualized value
Industry (Airport Operators) Construction Costs $0 $1,072,017 $24,734,387 $0 $26,343,320 $2,486,623
Maintenance Costs $0 $0 $0 $78,632 $239,425 $22,600.06
Administrative Costs $0 $1,594 $1,392 $0 $3,951 $373
All stakeholders Total costs $0 $1,073,611 $24,735,780 $78,632 $26,586,697 $2,509,596
Table 4 — Monetized benefits (in Canadian dollars)
Impacted stakeholder Description of benefit 2021 2024 2026 2040 Total (present value) Annualized value
Industry Avoided Aircraft Damage $0 $322,481 $335,178 $170,671 $4,317,678 $407,558
Avoided Air Operator Delay $0 $5,407 $5,468 $3,507 $76,762 $7,246
Canadians Avoided Injuries $0 $237 $260 $136 $3,376 $319
Avoided Passenger Delay $0 $38,101 $39,360 $28,985 $583,665 $55,094
All stakeholders Total benefits $0 $336,226 $380,265 $203,298 $4,981,482 $470,217
Table 5 — Summary of monetized costs and benefits (in Canadian dollars)
Impacts 2021 2024 2026 2040 Total
(present value)
Annualized value
Total costs $0 $1,073,611 $24,735,780 $78,632 $26,586,697 $2,509,596
Total benefits $0 $336,226 $380,265 $203,298 $4,981,482 $470,217
NET IMPACT $0 ($707,385) ($24,355,514) $124,666 ($21,605,214) ($2,039,379)

Quantified (non-$) and qualitative impacts

Non-quantified benefits

  • Decreased levels of stress experienced by passengers and crew during an undershoot or overrun event
  • Reduced long-lasting impacts after the event (e.g. post-traumatic effects)
  • Easier access for intervention for emergency services
  • Avoided legal fees to airports, Government, and air operators
  • Reduced damage to airport infrastructure

Non-quantified costs

  • Repairing an Engineered Material Arresting System after accident
  • Labour cost for joint sealant and top coat

Sensitivity Analysis

Passenger projection scenarios

Given the impacts of COVID-19 on the air sector and the uncertainty about Canada and the world’s recovery, three passenger projection scenarios were developed by Transport Canada with varying levels of optimism in regard to the rate of recovery.footnote 15 While the mid-level projection was used in the central analysis, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to provide the CBA results for the most optimistic scenario, which sees broad immunity towards the end of 2021 and a rapid upturn in air traffic, and most pessimistic scenario, which includes a global third wave of COVID-19 and a slower return to air traffic.

Runways undershoots and overruns

The probability of a runway overrun or undershoot and therefore the projected number of in-scope events are based on the number of historical runway excursions at Canadian airports. Some of these events were identified as runway excursions without any certainty as to whether aircraft exited the runway at the end or veered off the side. To exclude veer offs (out of scope), the main analysis assumes that 50% of these uncertain runway excursions were veer-offs. To explore whether this assumption would impact the conclusion, a sensitivity analysis was performed, treating 25% and 75% of the uncertain runway excursions as veer-offs.

Effectiveness rate

Uncertainty was also associated with the effectiveness rate of the amendments. The effectiveness rate represents the magnitude at which the requirements contained in the Amendments will mitigate consequences from a runway undershoot or overrun. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to compare the effectiveness rate used in the main analysis (50%) with the lower (25%) and upper (75%) effectiveness rates.

Runway end safety area options at an airport with unique characteristics

To achieve RESA compliance, airport operators have different options available: increasing the size of the safety area outside the runway, adjusting the declared distances of the runway, a combination of increasing the size of the safety area outside the runway and adjusting the declared distances, or installing an EMAS. For this analysis, one airport is assumed to be installing an EMAS. A sensitivity analysis was done to account for the scenario in which this airport instead undergoes a land extension to add the prescribed length.

Analytical timeframe

While Transport Canada believes that the 20-year period most accurately reflects the costs and benefits of these amendments due to the long lifespan of the implemented RESA, a sensitivity analysis was performed using a 10-year timeframe for comparison purposes.

Discount rate

The sensitivity analysis also includes a 3% discount rate instead of the 7% recommended by Treasury Board Secretariat. The table below summarizes the sensitivity analysis results.

Table 6 — Sensitivity Analysis Results
Parameter changes Net benefit ($) Benefit-cost ratio
Passenger projection scenarios
More Optimistic - Rapid Recovery from COVID-19 (20,689,090) 0.16
More Pessimistic - Global 3rd Wave of COVID-19 (21,369,839) 0.20
Number of RESA-relevant past events
Benefits estimated using 25% of unknown events (22,333,326) 0.16
Benefits estimated using 75% of unknown events (20,877,119) 0.21
Effectiveness rate
Amendments will mitigate the consequences of an undershoot or overrun by 25% (24,095,956) 0.09
Amendments will mitigate the consequences of an undershoot or overrun by 75% (19,114,473) 0.28
Runway End Safety Area Options at Airport with Unique Characteristics
Adding prescribed length (51,328,705) 0.09
Analytical timeframe
10 years (2021-2030) (21,534,899) 0.18
Discount rate
3% (24,893,911) 0.23

Distributional analysis

The costs imposed by the amendments will not be uniformly distributed amongst stakeholders such as airport operators, air operators and passengers.

Impact on affected airports

Roughly 85% of the total costs will be borne by a single airport, while the expected monetized benefits will remain low. However, given the unique physical characteristics at this airport, a runway excursion could have serious consequences. Impacts such as injuries and/or death to crew members and passengers, property damage, legal fees, and reputational damage could occur. The table below shows a breakdown of the expected costs and benefits to the airport in question and all other affected airports.

Table 7 — Airport with unique physical characteristics compared with all other affected airports
Airport Total cost ($) Total benefit ($) Net Benefit ($) Benefit-cost ratio
Airport with unique characteristics 22,711,728 340,313 (22,371,415) 0.015
All other affected airports 3,874,968 4,641,169 766,201 1.198

Impact on air operators/passengers

The compliance costs imposed by the amendments could be passed on to air operators and/or passengers. The maximum cost per movement, which represents the maximum amount an air operator would have to pay per takeoff or landing in order to cover total RESA costs over the 20-year timeframe (if airports made air operators cover 100% of RESA costs), is estimated at $0.65. Alternatively, if passengers were to cover 100% of RESA costs, the cost per affected passenger (which represents the maximum amount a passenger would have to pay per takeoff or landing) over the 20-year timeframe would be roughly $0.0082.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply, as there are no associated impacts on small businesses.

While airport operators are considered business and will be impacted by these amendments, none of those operators are considered small businesses under the lens due to estimated annual revenues greater than $5 million.

One-for-one rule

The one-for-one rule applies since there is an incremental increase in administrative burden on business, and the proposal is considered burden “in” under the rule. Under these amendments, airport operators would be required to update the AOM and send it to Transport Canada for approval. It is projected that this would result in a net increase in annualized average administrative burden costs of around $196, or $6 per affected airport operator.footnote 16

Regulatory cooperation and alignment

These regulatory amendments are not related to a work plan or commitment within a formal regulatory cooperation forum; however, the RESA amendments seek to address the risks of runway overrun as identified by the TSB. In 2010, the TSB placed runway overruns on the TSB’s key safety issues Watchlist.

Furthermore, the RESA amendments will capture the intent of ICAO’s recommendation regarding RESAs. The ICAO recommendation of 300 m RESA was recommended to capture a minimum of 90% of runway events. Transport Canada’s decision to go with a 150 m RESA is consistent with the intent of the ICAO recommendation as Canadian data demonstrated that 90% of excursions at Canadian airports are stopped within 150 m.

Strategic environmental assessment

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process was followed for this proposal and a sustainable transportation assessment was completed. The assessment concluded that a detailed strategic environmental assessment is not required. The assessment took into account potential effects to the environmental goals and targets of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS).

Gender-based analysis plus

No gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) impacts have been identified for this proposal.

Rationale

Globally, runway excursions are recognized as a serious safety issue due to the potential severity of such incidents. In Canada, the TSB has cited runway excursions as a critical aviation safety issue.

In recognition of the severity of the outcomes associated with runway excursions, and given that RESAs contribute to a greater level of safety for the travelling public and crews, an international standard was developed and published by ICAO in 1999. Many countries have implemented RESAs through the years. For example, the United States has mandated its 539 certified airports to implement RESAs at all runways receiving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights.

The amendments will require RESAs at runways serving commercial scheduled passenger-carrying flights that are located at the busiest Canadian airports. If an excursion occurs on a runway with a RESA, adverse consequences would be minimized. As a result, fatalities could be avoided and the number of injured passengers would be minimized, as could the severity of injuries. Furthermore, damages to the aircraft and airport installations would be minimized, the intervention of emergency services would be facilitated, and the activities of the runway and air traffic would resume more quickly.

The amendments will modify the applicability criteria of the Canadian RESA standard. As a result, the protection offered by RESAs will be extended to runways that are not currently required to have RESAs at their ends as per the Canadian standard introduced in 2015. By using the criterion of runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights located at Canada’s busiest airports and the minimal airport annual passenger threshold of 325 000 for two consecutive years, the vast majority of air travellers and crews would benefit from a higher level of safety.

Airports and runways

Canadian airports and their respective runways are certified based on requirements set out in the Regulations and TP 312, which is incorporated by reference into the Regulations.

Currently, all Canadian runways are required to have a safety area of 60 m at their ends, but only nine airports currently have fully compliant RESAs, and seven have partially compliant RESAs. Based on Canadian historical data (1999–2010), the provision of an additional 90 m would provide enough distance to stop 90% of runway excursions, compared to only 53% being stopped within the already regulated 60 m runway safety area, resulting in an increase of 37%.

Canadian runways also have safety areas on their sides. The amendments focus on the ends of the runways, as safety areas already exists on the sides of runways (which is why veer-offs are not included under the amendments).

Airports reaching a minimum passenger threshold

In Canada, RESAs were mandated in the original edition of TP 312 5th (2015) based on the length of runway, type of approach, and number of seats on the aircraft using the runway. The amendments will replace these criteria with a minimal airport annual passenger threshold of 325 000. The RESA applicability standard in section 3.2 of TP 312 5th was amended in early 2020 in consideration of the upcoming inclusion of the RESA requirements in the CARs.

This approach was chosen to maximize the benefits of RESAs. As a risk of excursion is present in every take-off and landing, installing RESAs on runways serving a high volume of flights would bring greater benefits in comparison to installing RESAs where the air traffic is low (it would cover more take-offs and landings).

Airports will be subject to the amendments upon reaching the threshold at the time of the coming into force of the Regulations or after meeting the threshold for two consecutive calendar years after the coming into force of these amendments. Airports would benefit from a three-year implementation period in order to comply with the amendments. An airport operator would no longer be subject to RESA requirements after two consecutive calendar years of a passenger threshold below 325 000. In such a case, the airport operator would no longer be required to comply with the RESA requirements.

Runways serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights

The Canadian RESA standard currently applies to runways that were built after 2015. There is no criterion in the standard that links the provision of RESAs to the runway based on different types of activities (cargo flights, commercial passenger-carrying flights, private flights, etc.) that are served by the runway.

In order to maximize the benefits of RESAs for the vast majority of air travellers and crews, the amendments will target runways that are serving scheduled commercial passenger-carrying flights. This approach would increase the safety of the travelling public and crews without imposing excessive costs to the industry.

Runway end safety area

The amendments will not modify the characteristics of RESAs as currently identified in TP 312 and in guidance documents (localization, width, length, bearing strength, absence of obstacles, etc.).

The amendments will also maintain the ways RESA standards can be met (that is, by increasing the size of the safety area outside the runway, by adjusting the declared distances of the runway, by installing an EMAS or by using a combination of increasing the size of the safety area outside the runway and adjusting the declared distances). However, airport operators will have to notify the Minister, at least 90 days prior to the end of the three-year implementation period, of their chosen way of meeting the RESA requirements.

Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards

Implementation

For airports that have already reached the threshold (those listed in the table to subsection 302.601(2)), the three-year implementation period will start at the time of the publication of the amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part II. For airports that are not on the list in subsection 302.601(2), the implementation period of three years will start after two consecutive calendar years of meeting the threshold for existing runways in operation, the first period beginning the year in which section 302.600 comes into force. New runways that first come in operation after the threshold has been met for two consecutive calendar years will be required to meet the RESA requirements on the day on which the runway is first in operation.

The passenger volume will be determined based on the airport activity survey data that is conducted by Statistics Canada on a yearly basis. It will be calculated by adding the number of passengers who board a plane (emplaned passengers) and the number of passengers who exit a plane (deplaned passengers) at a given airport for a specific calendar year. If the statistics with respect to the number of passengers are not published or are incomplete, the statistics will be those provided by Statistics Canada to the Minister of Transport.

Industry compliance with RESA requirements will be supported by the following material:

Enforcement

Airport operators are required under the Regulations to notify the Minister on how it intends to comply with the RESA requirements (through using one of the means of compliance described under the “Description” section above).

In cases where the airport operator fails to comply with the RESA requirements by the end of the implementation period, the Minister may make an order pursuant to section 302.604 of the Regulations to reduce the declared landing distances at an airport where RESA requirements are not met. The order would remain in effect until the airport operator implements RESAs.

These amendments will be enforced through the assessment of administrative monetary penalties for contraventions of designated provisions under sections 7.6 to 8.2 of the Aeronautics Act which carry a maximum fine of $3,000 for individuals and $15,000 for corporations; or certificate action (e.g. suspension or cancellation) in respect of an airport operator’s Canadian aviation document, or as applicable, proceeding by way of summary conviction or indictment, pursuant to section 7.3 of the Aeronautics Act.

Contact

Steve Palisek
Chief
Regulatory Affairs (AARKA)
Civil Aviation
Safety and Security Group
Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5
Telephone: 613‑993‑7284 or 1‑800‑305‑2059
Fax: 613‑990‑1198
Email: carrac@tc.gc.ca
Website: www.tc.gc.ca