The Transportation Safety Board of Canada
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...
: Bureau de la sécurité des transports du Canada, BST)
, officially the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board
(French: Bureau canadien d’enquête sur les accidents de transport et de la sécurité des transports) http://www.crtfp-pslrb.gc.ca/decisions/summaries/2007-87_e.asp
is the agency of the Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...
responsible for maintaining transportation safety in Canada. The agency investigates accidents and makes safety recommendations in several modes of transport, including aviation, rail, marine and pipelines.
The TSB was convened for the first time under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, which was enacted on March 29, 1990. It was formed partly in response to widespread criticism of the Canadian government's handling (through the responsible agency at the time, the Canadian Aviation Safety Board) of the investigation into the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285
Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF jetliner, registered N950JW, which operated as an international charter flight carrying U.S. troops from Cairo, Egypt, to their home base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, via Cologne, Germany and Gander, Newfoundland...
. The headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...
are located in the Place du Centre in Gatineau, Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....
The provisions of Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act were written to establish a more independent relationship between the board and the government. This new mechanism's first major test came with the crash of Swissair 111
Swissair Flight 111 was a Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on a scheduled airline flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, United States to Cointrin International Airport in Geneva, Switzerland...
, on September 2, 1998, the largest single aviation accident on Canadian territory since the Arrow Air disaster. The TSB delivered its report on the accident on March 27, 2003, some 4½ years after the accident and at a cost of $57 million CAD, making it the most complex and costly accident investigation in Canadian history.
The TSB's board is composed of 5 members:
- Chair Wendy A. Tadros
- Member Kathy Fox
- Member Martin Lacombe
- Member Ian S. MacKay
- Member Jonathan Seymour
The Transportation Safety Board's mandate is as follows:
- conducting independent investigations, public inquiries when necessary, into selected transportation occurrences in order to make findings as to their causes and contributing factors;
- identifying safety
Safety is the state of being "safe" , the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be...
deficiencies, as evidenced by transportation occurrences;
- making recommendations designed to eliminate or reduce any such safety deficiencies; and
- reporting publicly on our investigations and on the findings in relation thereto
The TSB may assist other transportation safety boards in their investigations. This may happen when:
- an incident or accident occurs involving a Canadian-registered aircraft in commercial or air transport use;
- an incident or accident occurs involving a Canadian-built aircraft (or an aircraft with Canadian-built engines, propellers, or other vital components) in commercial or air transport use;
- a country without the technical ability to conduct a full investigation asks for the TSB's assistance (especially in the field of reading and analyzing the content of flight data recorder
A flight data recorder is an electronic device employed to record any instructions sent to any electronic systems on an aircraft. It is a device used to record specific aircraft performance parameters...
s and cockpit voice recorder
A cockpit voice recorder , often referred to as a "black box", is a flight recorder used to record the audio environment in the flight deck of an aircraft for the purpose of investigation of accidents and incidents...
TSB statistics report that Air, Rail, and Marine accident rates have been fairly steady over the past five years (2001–2006). (Pipeline accidents are not common enough for statistics to be relevant.) Traffic on the three major modes of transport has risen about 5% in the meantime.
In the fiscal year 2005–2006, there were over 4000 transportation "occurrences" reported in Canada. Most of these were minor incidents, involving only property damage, but major fatal accidents are also be included in this total. In the same year, 79 accidents and incidents required TSB investigation.
The federal or provincial governments may call upon the TSB to investigate such occurrences. Usually it is Transport Canada
Transport Canada is the department within the government of Canada which is responsible for developing regulations, policies and services of transportation in Canada. It is part of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities portfolio...
that initiates a request for an investigation. Public reports are published following each investigation. Recommendations made by the TSB are not legally binding upon the Government of Canada, nor any Ministers of Departments, but the Minister who initiated the investigation must acknowledge the recommendations made by the TSB.
The TSB reports to the Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...
through the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
In the Canadian cabinet, the President of The Queen's Privy Council for Canada is nominally in charge of the Privy Council Office. The President of the Privy Council also has the largely ceremonial duty of presiding over meetings of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, a body which only convenes...