Canadian Aviation Regulations

CARs Overview

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) are the guidelines that oversee civilian flight in Canada.  They became law in October 1996, replacing the “Air Regulations and Air Navigation Orders” that previously regulated flight in Canada.

The CARs are divided into 10 functional “parts”:

Part I : General Provisions

  • Definitions, general administrative and compliance provisions, regulatory authorities and fees for services provided by the Department.

Part II : Identification, Registration and Leasing of Aircraft

  • Regulates registration, marking and leasing of aircraft and identification of aeronautical products.

Part III : Aerodrome and Airports

  • Regulations respecting aerodromes and airports, and requirements for certification of airports.

Part IV : Personnel Licensing and Training

  • Regulations governing the training and licensing of flight crew, aircraft maintenance engineers and air traffic controllers.

Part V : Airworthiness

  • Regulates airworthiness of aircraft from the design and type certification stage to the maintenance of aircraft in use. Includes requirements respecting export, manufacture, and distribution of aircraft and aeronautical products, and requirements respecting continuing airworthiness.

Part VI : General Operating and Flight Rules

  • General rules applicable to all aircraft operations, including regulations respecting special types of operations such as air shows, parachuting and balloon operations.

Part VII : Commercial Air Services

  • Rules governing the use of airplanes and helicopters in commercial air services, including airworthiness rules relating specifically to commercial operations. Reflects the evolution of the aviation industry in Canada with respect to operations such as aerial work, air taxi and commuter operations. Also takes into account the way commercial air service regulations are structured internationally.

Part VIII : Air Navigation Services

  • Regulations respecting the provision of air navigation services.

Part IX – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

Part X- Greenhouse Gas Emissions From International Aviation

CARs Principles

In keeping with Aviation Regulation’s philosophy of a shared commitment with the aviation community to safety, the CARs include the following four regulatory principals:

(1) Applying a Risk-based Approach to Regulation

The CARs were developed taking into account the safety risks inherent in aviation activities and the potential consequences of non-compliance. Consequently, commercial activities attract the greatest level of regulation while recreational aviation activities involve minimal regulation and encourage self-regulation. Similarly, the level of regulation differs amongst the types of commercial activities, for instance, the regulations for air taxi operations are much less onerous than those for commuter operations.

(2) Minimizing the Regulatory Burden

In the CARs, regulations are based on identified needs and safety deficiencies. In so far as it is practicable the regulations are also harmonized with those of the United States (FARs) and the European Union (JARs). The CARs are intended to be cost-effective; allowing for technical innovation and business practices tailored to an operator’s specific requirements.

(3) Increasing the Delegation of Regulatory Authorities

The CARs recognize the extensive use of industry delegates to exercise a variety of regulatory authorities. Delegations are made based on need and cost-effectiveness and recognize the expertise in the private sector. Delegates are closely monitored by Transport Canada Aviation to ensure their continued competency.

(4) Increasing Communication with the Aviation Community – CARAC

The CARs were developed in partnership with the aviation community through CARAC, which continues to play a pivotal role in ongoing rule making.

CARs Regulatory Structure

The regulatory structure consists of four elements:

(1) The Aeronautics Act

The existing powers as set out in the Act provide for the making and repealing of regulations. The Act remains unchanged.

(2) Canadian Aviation Regulations

(a) General Overview
The former regulations (Air Regulations, Air Regulations Series, and the ANOs) have been repealed and replaced by the CARs.

(b) Types of Provisions
As with the previous regulations, two types of provisions are found in the CARs:

(i) Offence-creating Provisions
There are two categories of offence-creating provisions:

A. those which require a specific conduct or behaviour; and

B. those that prohibit a certain type of conduct or behaviour on the part of the holder of a Canadian aviation document or other member of the regulated community.

The first type tells us “what to do” and the second tells us “what not to do”. Non-compliance is a violation and can result in judicial or administrative action.

These provisions may set out conditions for compliance. In other words, a provision may tell us that a certain behaviour is prohibited unless a specific condition is met.

Example 1: Section 602.28
Example 2: Subsection 401.03(1)
Example 3: Subsection 704.28

 (ii) Administrative Provisions
Administrative provisions generally address the obligations and authorities of the Minister and delegated officials.

Example 1: Subsection 705.07(1)
In this example, the Minister is obliged to exercise his/her authority to issue or amend an air operator’s certificate where the operator meets the six conditions set out in this subsection.

Example 2: Subsection 401.18(1)
In this example, an administrative duty is imposed on a flight test examiner (a Minister’s delegate).

(3) Standards
As in the previous regulatory structure, numerous standards publications have been incorporated by reference in the CARs.

Example: paragraph 604.14
In this example, the CARs incorporates by reference the standard set out in the Canada Air Pilot for instrument approach procedures.

While some standards continue to exist in an independent manual (i.e. the Canada Air Pilot or Designated Airspace Handbook), other standards are published in a format complementing the CARs in which the standard is referenced. For example, there is no longer a Personnel Licensing Handbook, instead there is a specific standard complementing each Subpart of Part IV of the CARs.

In addition, certain documents which previously contained guidelines have now become standards documents.

(4) Advisory Materials

Advisory Materials are recommended procedures or guidance material which provide information in respect of a regulation or a standard.

For more detailed information, including CARs numbering and navigation of the CARs, refer to this information page from Transport Canada: