Canadian Aviation Regulations (SOR/96-433)

Regulations are current to 2016-06-06 and last amended on 2015-08-31. Previous Versions

Minimum Altitudes and Distances

  •  (1) [Repealed, SOR/2002-447, s. 2]

  • (2) Except where conducting a take-off, approach or landing or where permitted under section 602.15, no person shall operate an aircraft

    • (a) over a built-up area or over an open-air assembly of persons unless the aircraft is operated at an altitude from which, in the event of an emergency necessitating an immediate landing, it would be possible to land the aircraft without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface, and, in any case, at an altitude that is not lower than

      • (i) for aeroplanes, 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle located within a horizontal distance of 2,000 feet from the aeroplane,

      • (ii) for balloons, 500 feet above the highest obstacle located within a horizontal distance of 500 feet from the balloon, or

      • (iii) for an aircraft other than an aeroplane or a balloon, 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle located within a horizontal distance of 500 feet from the aircraft; and

    • (b) in circumstances other than those referred to in paragraph (a), at a distance less than 500 feet from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure.

  • SOR/2002-447, s. 2.

Permissible Low Altitude Flight

  •  (1) A person may operate an aircraft at altitudes and distances less than those specified in subsection 602.14(2) where the aircraft is operated at altitudes and distances that are no less than necessary for the purposes of the operation in which the aircraft is engaged, the aircraft is operated without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface and the aircraft is operated

    • (a) for the purpose of a police operation that is conducted in the service of a police authority;

    • (b) for the purpose of saving human life;

    • (c) for fire-fighting or air ambulance operations;

    • (d) for the purpose of the administration of the Fisheries Act or the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act;

    • (e) for the purpose of the administration of the national or provincial parks; or

    • (f) for the purpose of flight inspection.

  • (2) A person may operate an aircraft, to the extent necessary for the purpose of the operation in which the aircraft is engaged, at altitudes and distances less than those set out in

    • (a) paragraph 602.14(2)(a), where operation of the aircraft is authorized under Subpart 3 or section 702.22; or

    • (b) paragraph 602.14(2)(b), where the aircraft is operated without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface and the aircraft is operated for the purpose of

      • (i) aerial application or aerial inspection,

      • (ii) aerial photography conducted by the holder of an air operator certificate,

      • (iii) helicopter external load operations, or

      • (iv) flight training conducted by or under the supervision of a qualified flight instructor.

Flights over Open-Air Assemblies of Persons or Built-up Areas — Helicopters with External Loads

  •  (1) No person shall operate a helicopter that is carrying a Class B, C or D external load over an open-air assembly of persons.

  • (2) Except where authorized under section 603.66 or 702.22, no person shall operate a helicopter that is carrying a Class B, C or D external load over a built-up area.

Carriage of Persons during Low Altitude Flight

 No person operating an aircraft shall conduct helicopter Class B, C or D external load operations or engage in aerial application or aerial inspection at altitudes less than 500 feet AGL while carrying on board any person other than a flight crew member, unless that person’s presence on board is essential to the purposes of the flight.

Flights over Built-up Areas — Balloons

  •  (1) No person shall operate a balloon over a built-up area without carrying on board sufficient fuel to permit the balloon to fly clear of the built-up area, taking into consideration the take-off weight of the balloon, the ambient temperature and actual and forecast winds, and possible variations of those factors.

  • (2) No person shall operate a balloon on a flight that is planned to enter Class C airspace while over a built-up area unless the clearance to enter that airspace that is required pursuant to section 601.08 has been obtained from the appropriate air traffic control unit prior to take-off.

Right of Way — General

  •  (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,

    • (a) the pilot-in-command of an aircraft that has the right of way shall, if there is any risk of collision, take such action as is necessary to avoid collision; and

    • (b) where the pilot-in-command of an aircraft is aware that another aircraft is in an emergency situation, the pilot-in-command shall give way to that other aircraft.

  • (2) When two aircraft are converging at approximately the same altitude, the pilot-in-command of the aircraft that has the other on its right shall give way, except as follows:

    • (a) a power-driven, heavier-than-air aircraft shall give way to airships, gliders and balloons;

    • (b) an airship shall give way to gliders and balloons;

    • (c) a glider shall give way to balloons; and

    • (d) a power-driven aircraft shall give way to aircraft that are seen to be towing gliders or other objects or carrying a slung load.

  • (3) When two balloons operating at different altitudes are converging, the pilot-in-command of the balloon at the higher altitude shall give way to the balloon at the lower altitude.

  • (4) Where an aircraft is required to give way to another aircraft, the pilot-in-command of the first-mentioned aircraft shall not pass over or under, or cross ahead of, the other aircraft unless passing or crossing at such a distance as will not create a risk of collision.

  • (5) Where two aircraft are approaching head-on or approximately so and there is a risk of collision, the pilot-in-command of each aircraft shall alter its heading to the right.

  • (6) An aircraft that is being overtaken has the right of way and the pilot-in-command of the overtaking aircraft, whether climbing, descending or in level flight, shall give way to the other aircraft by altering the heading of the overtaking aircraft to the right, and no subsequent change in the relative positions of the two aircraft shall absolve the pilot-in-command of the overtaking aircraft from this obligation until that aircraft has entirely passed and is clear of the other aircraft.

  • (7) Where an aircraft is in flight or manoeuvring on the surface, the pilot-in-command of the aircraft shall give way to an aircraft that is landing or about to land.

  • (8) The pilot-in-command of an aircraft that is approaching an aerodrome for the purpose of landing shall give way to any aircraft at a lower altitude that is also approaching the aerodrome for the purpose of landing.

  • (9) The pilot-in-command of an aircraft at a lower altitude, as described in subsection (8), shall not overtake or cut in front of an aircraft at a higher altitude that is in the final stages of an approach to land.

  • (10) No person shall conduct or attempt to conduct a take-off or landing in an aircraft until there is no apparent risk of collision with any aircraft, person, vessel, vehicle or structure in the take-off or landing path.

Right of Way — Aircraft Manoeuvring on Water

  •  (1) Where an aircraft on the water has another aircraft or a vessel on its right, the pilot-in-command of the first-mentioned aircraft shall give way.

  • (2) Where an aircraft on the water is approaching another aircraft or a vessel head-on, or approximately so, the pilot-in-command of the first-mentioned aircraft shall alter its heading to the right.

  • (3) The pilot-in-command of an aircraft that is overtaking another aircraft or a vessel on the water shall alter its heading to keep well clear of the other aircraft or the vessel.

Avoidance of Collision

 No person shall operate an aircraft in such proximity to another aircraft as to create a risk of collision.

Towing

 No person shall operate an aeroplane that is towing an object unless the aeroplane is equipped with a tow hook and release control mechanism.

  • SOR/2006-77, s. 7.

Dropping of Objects

 No person shall create a hazard to persons or property on the surface by dropping an object from an aircraft in flight.

Formation Flight

 No person shall operate an aircraft in formation with other aircraft except by pre-arrangement between

  • (a) the pilots-in-command of the aircraft; or

  • (b) where the flight is conducted within a control zone, the pilots-in-command and the appropriate air traffic control unit.

 
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