Transportation Safety Board of Canada

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Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Bureau de la sécurité des transports du Canada
Transportation Safety Board of Canada Logo.png
TSB-BST logo
Place du Centre, the headquarters of the TSB
Agency overview
Formed March 29, 1990
Preceding Agency Canadian Aviation Safety Board (aviation)
Jurisdiction Government of Canada
Headquarters Gatineau, Quebec
Employees 220
Agency executive Wendy A. Tadros, Chair
Website Transportation Safety Board website

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB, French: 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)[1] is the agency of the Government of Canada responsible for advancing transportation safety in Canada. The independent agency investigates accidents and makes safety recommendations in four modes of transportation: aviation, rail, marine and pipelines.

Agency history[edit]

The TSB was created under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, which was enacted on March 29, 1990. It was formed in response to a number of high profile accidents, following which the Government of Canada identified the need for an independent, multi-modal investigation agency. The headquarters are located in Place du Centre in Gatineau, Quebec.

The provisions of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act were written to establish an independent relationship between the Board and the Government of Canada. This agency's first major test came with the crash of Swissair 111, 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 Board is composed of 5 members:[2]

  • Chair Wendy A. Tadros
  • Member Faye Ackermans
  • Member John Clarkson
  • Member Kathy Fox
  • Member Joseph Hincke

The Transportation Safety Board's mandate is to:

  • conduct independent investigations, including public inquiries when necessary, into selected transportation occurrences in order to make findings as to their causes and contributing factors;
  • identify safety deficiencies, as evidenced by transportation occurrences;
  • make recommendations designed to eliminate or reduce any such safety deficiencies; and
  • report publicly on their investigations and on the related findings

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 recorders and cockpit voice recorders).

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 4,000 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.

Provincial and territorial governments may call upon the TSB to investigate occurrences. However, it is up to the TSB whether or not to proceed with an investigation. Public reports are published following class one, two, three and four investigations. Recommendations made by the TSB are not legally binding upon the Government of Canada, nor any Ministers of Departments. However, when a recommendation is made to a federal department, a formal response must be presented to the TSB within 90 days.

In recent years, the TSB has concluded a number of high profile investigations, including Air France (A05H0002), the Cheakamus River (R05V0141), the Queen of the North (M06W0052), Picton Castle (M06F0024), the Burnaby pipeline rupture (P07H0040), Cougar Helicopters (A09A0016) and the Concordia (M10F003). To increase the uptake of its recommendations and address accident patterns, the TSB launched its Watchlist in 2010, which points to nine critical safety issues troubling Canada’s transportation system.

The TSB reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

List of Chairs[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gasbarro v. Treasury Board (Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board)". Public Service Labour Relations Board of Canada. August 23, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Transportation Safety Board : The Board". 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 

External links[edit]