Aviation In Canada

Monday, March 14, 2005

Aviation Redunancies

One reader posted a reply to my GPS post recently, and I think he hit a very important topic. It seems in aviation there are stories all over the world about a company, or an individual in a company, who plans or acts to remove a procedure or a process which is considered redundant for cost savings. That's what makes aviation, especially in Canada, so safe: the number and nature of its redunancies.

People started flying way back, and experience taught them that, for safety's sake, certain things needed not only to be checked but to be cross-checked as well. These men and women were heralded for their thoughts and ideas. Suddenly, a new generation of businessman (or woman) jumps into an office, full of piss and vinegar with thoughts of how to make next year's bonus bigger, and these redundancies are the first thing to get chopped. Maybe not right away, but sometime in the future these actions show their ugly heads in an accident investigation. If an engine fails in flight, you can't just pull over and flag down a passing airliner to call a tow truck. And this is in all facets of aviation from flying to ground handling to ATC and systems management. And there are so many little things that can add up to be huge things in aviation, the redundancies are more than desireable. They become extremely important.

Statistically, Canada's air navigation system and aviation community as a whole have been cited as one of the safest in the world. These checks and balances in every neck of the woods pull together to make us what we are.