Marking and lighting of obstacles to air navigation

For a pilot to safely fly under visual flight rules, they need to be aware of structures that are obstacles to air navigation so they will have sufficient time to react and avoid them.

Transport Canada requires that structures, which are obstacles to air navigation, are marked and/or lighted so they can be easily identified during the day and night. Some structures that may be obstacles include:

  • broadcast towers
  • buildings
  • catenaries (power transmission lines crossing a river or valley)
  • bridges
  • cooling towers, and
  • Chimneys
  • Cranes
A broadcast tower with application of obstacle marking and lighting

On this page:

This page includes information on ....

  • Canada’s rules regarding marking and lighting of obstacles
  • Who to notify when you install a new obstacle
  • How to report a failure of marking or lighting [for owners of obstacles].

Canada’s rules for the marking and lighting of obstacles

The following rules are applicable to marking and lighting of structures that are obstacles to air navigation:

Who to notify when you plan to install new obstacle

  1. If you plan to install a new structure that will be an obstacle to air navigation, you must notify the Transport Canada Regional Office by completing an Aeronautical Assessment Form (PDF, 792 KB) so they can assess the structure and your plans for construction.
    Contact information for Transport Canada regional offices, can be found in Appendix A to Standard 621.
  2. You should also notify NAV CANADA's Land Use Department and respond to subsequent requests. This is so they can assess whether your structure impacts flight procedures, as this can occur even if it has been determined to not be an obstacle by Transport Canada. NAV CANADA Land use forms are available at ....
  3. With respect to the Navigation Protection Program (NPP), you should consult the Apply to the NPP webpage if you plan to construct, place, alter, remove or decommission a work in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water in Canada.

Reporting a Failure of marking or lighting

(A report of failure should be done by the owner of the obstacle)

If there is a failure of either marking or lighting a NOTAM is issued immediately through the NAV CANADA Flight Information Centre (FIC). Action to repair should be started as soon as possible.

When reporting a failure, the following information should be provided. This enables later identification of the affected structure and review of the progress for repair.

  1. The originator’s name, telephone number, email address
  2. Name of the originator’s company
  3. Name of company owning the obstacle
  4. Obstacle site number or ticket number.
  5. NAV CANADA Land Use # (if available)
  6. The type of structure;
  7. Location of structure (latitude and longitude)
  8. Height of structure above ground level (AGL)
  9. Overall height above mean sea level (AMSL)
  10. An estimated return to service date.

The originator should subsequently notify NAV CANADA when the repair is complete.

A NOTAM is intended to be temporary nature and short duration. The originator should advise NAV CANADA, if the repair will take more than 3 months.

To facilitate the NOTAM process, the originator should respond to subsequent NAV CANADA requests for more information.