Case Studies

Government of Nunavut – Airports Division

WASCO provides Technical Services to twenty-four northern and remote airports owned and operated by the Government of Nunavut – Airports Division.

The Government of Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation – Airports Division owns and operates twenty-four northern and remote airports across Nunavut. In late 2016 Nunavut Airports Division approached WASCO to provide Technical Services in the support for their airport regulatory programs. Specifically, Nunavut Airports Division has struggled over the past several years to fully implement a compliant Safety Management System and Quality Assurance Programs for the twenty-four airports.

Although concerted efforts were made by Nunavut Airports Division to develop a Safety Management System and Quality Assurance Program several factors, including: the ability to hire and retain qualified staff, geographic environments, technological issues, budgetary constraints and technical expertise, ultimately impacted their ability to develop and administer a program satisfactory to Transport Canada.

Under the proposed work program, WASCO will hire and retained qualified technical staff, including a Manager, Airport Regulatory Programs, to oversee the development and on-going administration of a Safety Management System and Quality Assurance Program. Reporting to the Director, Nunavut Airports Division, our team, will act as an external extension to the Nunavut Airports Division team and hold regulatory responsibility as the appointed SMS Manager under the airport operating certificate for each of the twenty-four airports.

Acting independently to the SMS team, the Audit team will be responsible for executing Quality Assurance Program audits at each of the twenty-four airports over the contract period. These audits will include physical, process and performance audits of the entire airport operation.

WASCO has specifically established this Safety Management System and Quality Assurance Program to be tailored to suit the needs of similar northern, remote, small and regional airports. Functionally, airports of this size, scope and complexity do not require a full-time dedicated individual to administer the Safety Management System and Quality Assurance Program. As a result, the responsibility of managing the Safety Management System typically rests with the Airport Manager, taking time away from their other responsibilities. Ideally, airports of this size would hire an individual to assume this responsibility, however fiscally it can be challenging to justify in an operation where sometimes the Airport Manager is the only full-time staff member.

Under the WASCO program, airport resources are pooled such that a fully compliant and industry leading Safety Management System and Quality Assurance Program can be delivered by a technical team with subject matter expertise for less than half the cost of a single full-time employee. Partnering with WASCO for SMS enables Airport Management to focus on the performance of safety while WASCO can manage the process of safety.