Some of the worlds most beautiful natural landscapes and incredible cities lie just across the Canadian border. This two-minute video gives an overview of the process, as well a brief description of many of the items.
The pilot in command must have a current:
All U.S. registered aircraft must have:
|Up to 2,300 lbs.||$100,000 public liability only|
|2,301 to 5,000 lbs.||$500,000 public liability only|
|5,001 to 12,500 lbs.||$1,000,000 public liability and $300,000 passenger liability per passenger on board|
You are required to provide advance notification to CBSA by calling 1-888/CAN-PASS (226-7277). You must provide notification no less than two (2) hours but no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival. A filed and activated flight plan is required for border crossing, and your first landing in Canada must be at an airport of entry. You will be required to provide the customs office with information about yourself, passengers, your flight, and airport of entry. After arrival at your airport of entry, if there is no customs officer present, immediately contact the Canadian CANPASS office again at the same number and receive an arrival report number or be advised to await a customs inspection.
Thanks to an agreement between the FAA and Transport Canada, flying an experimental aircraft into Canada is now easier than ever. All that is needed is the document Standardized Validation of a Special Airworthiness Certificate—Experimental, for the Purpose of Operating a United States-Registered Amateur-Built Aircraft in Canadian Airspace which details the restrictions (minor in nature) applicable in Canadian airspace. Download the form and carry it with the aircraft at all times in Canada.
To access weather information and file flight plans while flying in Canada, contact Canadian Flight Service by calling 866/WX-BRIEF (992-7433). This telephone number can only be used within the borders of Canada. More specific flight services and local weather advisories can be obtained by contacting the individual Flight Information Centres within each Canadian province.
For remote areas, take tiedown equipment with you and have your ADF or GPS in good working order. Slot reservations are required for Toronto Pearson International Airport for VFR and IFR aircraft. A Mode C transponder is required when flying into any terminal control area and Class C airspace in Canada. Mode C transponders are also required in some Class D and E airspace, normally associated with some terminal areas and some control zones. The terminal charts (VTAs) and the Canada Flight Supplement provide the details.
Certain rifles and shotguns for sport, competition, or survival and ammunition are permitted in Canada, but be sure you declare them when going through customs. An advance permit is required from Canadian authorities for certain restricted firearms.
Overflights that originate and end in the United States require that the pilot must file a flight plan, and Canadian regulations must be observed when flying in Canadian airspace. Write “Canada overflight” in the remarks section of the flight plan.
Note: The Canadian government now charges U.S.-registered aircraft for ATC services based on the aircraft certified gross weight. The current fee is approximately $17.00 CAN per quarter for aircraft under 2 metric tons (4,410 lb gross) and $56.75 for aircraft between 2 and 3 metric tons (up to 6,614 lb gross). See the NavCanada Guide to Charges for details for aircraft in higher weight classes. Also, weight-based fees for use of the airport terminal may apply at some airports.
A foreign-registered aircraft is charged on the basis of the first recorded arrival into a Canadian aerodrome or entry into Canadian airspace, excluding flights between two points in the U.S.
eAPIS is not required for Canadian overflights if taking off and landing at U.S. airports.
This content reflects the opinions of the providers, including occasional operational tips and experiences. Some of the perspectives expressed here may not reflect AOPA's position, but they bring a valuable viewpoint members should be aware of when traveling internationally. Questions or concerns should be directed to the information providers, whose names are hyperlinked below for easy access.
The steps to flying to and from Canada by private aircraft are summarized in a checklist developed by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association.
Visit COPA’s Places to Fly where you can select an area of Canada by province and then select airports for information on airport services, accommodations and attractions nearby.
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