Nolinor, Canada’s safety pioneer
Safety is one of Nolinor Aviation’s top priorities, and we are quick to comply with new regulations. It is in fact why our team was the first in Canada’s civil aviation history to receive its complete Safety Management Systems (SMS) approval.
This system, which detects risks before they turn into serious problems, is now a Transport Canada regulatory requirement for all companies offering commercial flights. The success of such a safety system cannot be accomplished without everyone’s involvement, and that is why every member of the Nolinor team, from management to mechanics, is trained in the SMS.
Nolinor Aviation offers customized service to often-inhospitable locations. To meet the challenges encountered in these remote areas while providing a high level of safety, our team not only meets but exceeds regulatory standards.
To achieve this goal, Nolinor Aviation has for many years now been investing in systems and technology solutions that have enabled it to take a proactive approach. Below are some examples of the advantages and improvements available on all our flights.
LPV Approach System: Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) is an approach that uses top-level instrumentation during landings. In order to comply with this (non-compulsory) standard, Nolinor Aviation has installed the latest generation GPS to ensure that crews have access to the most accurate information during landings. In this way, Nolinor Aviation is able to reduce the number of unsuccessful approaches and avoid costly alternate flights for its customers. The addition of this avionics system represents an investment of over $400,000 per aircraft.
ADS-B System: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems technology uses communication satellites to inform traffic controllers of the location of our aircraft when they are outside control zones. In northern regions, the presence of this system on Nolinor Aviation aircraft allows us to monitor our flights as if they were in a radar area. What’s more, since we are now able to use preferred routes, our fuel costs have fallen.
SkyTrac System: Today, real-time communications are a necessary prerequisite to air safety. A number of years ago, Nolinor Aviation decided to equip its aircraft with a two-way communication system supported worldwide via satellite. This system allows us not only to communicate with our aircraft in real time, but also to know the exact location of every aircraft in flight. Nolinor Aviation is currently working with SkyTrac Systems Ltd. to develop a module that will also be able to monitor over 150 other flight parameters (flight data monitoring), such as engine performance and fuel consumption, in order to detect premature failures.
True North Super AHRS: The farther north the destination or the alternate airport, the greater the risk of indication errors related to magnetic north. Nolinor Aviation fleets are equipped with navigational instruments that address this potential source of errors and ensure a higher safety level. This feature is included in our aircraft’s flight management system and represents an investment of more than $200,000 per airplane.
Certification of Gravel Runways: To cope with rough conditions on dirt airstrips in the Far North, our Boeing 737-200 aircraft have been modified and certified to minimize the possibility of gravel ingestion in the engines. The front is fitted with a gravel deflector to propel the stones toward the ground, and other changes have also been made to the front of the engines. Installation and certification represents an investment of over $500,000 per aircraft. Our Convair 580 aircraft are already approved for gravel runways.
In addition to the equipment and systems that have been installed on our aircraft, over the years Nolinor Aviation has developed the tools required to ensure reliability and safety of all flights. Below are a few examples.
Simulator and Training: In addition to more than 24 specialized courses on a range of topics related to our operations, Nolinor Aviation pilots are required to take 12 hours of B737-200 simulator training every 6 months; Transport Canada-designated pilots evaluate their skills every 6 months, once in a simulator and then on an actual flight. This training is both practical and theoretical and is designed to cover all normal and emergency procedures that may arise on board the aircraft in flight or on the ground. A team of six instructors ensure that training is kept up to date based on the most recent information available.
Flight Engineer: Although there is no requirement to have a mechanical engineer on board every flight, for a number of years, Nolinor Aviation has kept a resource person on board to monitor the various systems. In the event of mechanical breakdown in a remote destination, a certified engineer is available to deal with a range of situations with the spare parts in stock. This approach enables Nolinor Aviation to respond promptly to most emergencies and thereby avoid long delays for passengers.
Type A dispatch service: Nolinor Aviation is one of the few specialized air transport companies to have a Type A dispatch service for tracking flights 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A team of dispatchers, certified according to Transport Canada requirements, validates all flight information provided to crews. We can track our flights in real time anywhere in the world.
SMS: Nolinor Aviation’s Safety Management System (SMS) allows us identify safety risks before they become bigger problems. Transport Canada regulations require aviation companies to implement an SMS for additional protection as part of their risk management strategy.
BARS Registered: Nolinor Aviation has achieved Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS)registration. BARS is an international air safety operating standard that is widely used in the mining industry and for humanitarian flights. To obtain BARS registration, our operations had to pass an audit covering more than 275 points. The certification process has brought Nolinor Aviation new business from safety-conscious customers.
Quality Assurance: The presence of a quality assurance officer during aircraft maintenance is a regulatory requirement. At Nolinor Aviation, we understand the benefits of such a system, and we have created an equivalent position in flight operations. Our QA officer validates quality assurance for operations and verifies compliance of our operational systems.
FDS: Every flight involves a great deal of information. To ensure that this information is reliably communicated to our crews and customers, we have created the Flight Data System (FDS). Among other tasks, the system automatically communicates departure and arrival times for all flights and also sends our customers automated monthly reports, including performance indicators.
These are just a few examples of the initiatives that Nolinor Aviation has put in place to provide our customers with superior performance and safety. Each year, Nolinor Aviation invests heavily to develop new practices with an eye to improving the safety of our operations.