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Transport Canada slow to act on safety recommendations: TSB

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Flying in this country is safe, but could be safer. That’s what the Transportation Safety Board is saying, worried about what it calls Transport Canada‘s slow reaction to safety recommendations after plane crashes.

The TSB investigates accidents and today released a report evaluating how the Federal Government has responded.

The agency says there’s no immediate danger if you’re flying, but the agency’s Jean Laporte points out only 60 per cent of the reports recommendations have been fully acted on.

“Those are risks and safety deficiencies we have identified 10 or 15 years ago where there is still not enough being done to address the problems,” Laporte says. “We’re calling upon Transport Canada and industry to look at outstanding issues and to try to address those remaining risks.”

The TSB finds one big problem remains with float planes. Evacuation plans and emergency exits still are not adequate across the board.

The agency also has concerns about the fire risk in plane crashes where the impact is survivable.

A list of recommendations can be found here.

The TSB also evaluated pipeline, marine, and rail recommendations.  All of those areas have seen a much better rate of response, though the agency did cite concerns about at-grade rail/road crossing collisions.

Transport Canada says it works actively to enhance the safety of all Canadians by improving aviation, marine and rail safety.

“Canada has one of the safest transportation systems in the world and it gets even stronger every single year.  In fact, 2011 marked the lowest recorded accident numbers in aviation history,” Transport Canada says in a statement to News1130.

The statement goes on to say the Federal Government is making real progress on the Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations by:

– Taking steps to reduce the risk of collisions on airport runways through updated regulatory measures, advisory circulars, an information website and collaboration with our international partners;

– Implementing fire and boat drill regulations to ensure vessel passengers and crew better understand emergency preparedness;

– Introducing regulations to require aircraft to have alarms to warn crew of risks of collision

– Conducting further safety assessments with stakeholders in areas of higher risk of train collisions