NEWS

B.C. floatplane changes recommended

05/01/2012 06:22 EDT | Updated 07/01/2012 05:12 EDT

The B.C. Coroners Service is recommending safety changes to seaplane operations on the West Coast, including installing emergency exits on all planes and requiring lifejackets during flights.

The proposed changes are part of 19 recommendations made by a special Death Review Panel that looked into four fatal crashes that killed a total of 23 people on the West Coast between 2005 and 2009.

Most of the recommendations, which are directed at several federal government bodies and the B.C. government, cover a wide range of safety issues including plane design, weather-forecasting and record-keeping.

"These recommendations should be considered very seriously by the agencies to which they're directed," said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe in a statement released on Tuesday.

"They are the result of open and frank discussion and review by a diverse blue-ribbon panel of experts in the field provincewide, and they are based on an aggregate review of several crashes, not a single incident."

Many of the recommendations echo those included in previous reports from the Transportation Safety Board investigations into the same crashes.

Transport Canada has said previously it will hold a focus group with industry members to decide how to address the past recommendations and the conclusion of the focus group recommendations will be presented to the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council this year.

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